According to the American Heart Association, approximately 85 million Americans — one out of every three adults over age 20 — has high blood pressure. Most of the time there are no obvious symptoms and, if left untreated, high blood pressure can damage the circulatory system, and contribute to heart attack, stroke, and other health issues. To raise awareness about high blood pressure, PennFIRST is partnering with the Penn Medicine Center for Healthcare Innovation to offer free on-site blood pressure screenings for construction workers on the site of the new Pavilion.

“Penn Medicine encourages preventative screenings for all employees, and as a vital part of building our future, the PennFIRST construction team is no different!” said Kate Newcomb-DeSanto, MSN, RN, MSW, a clinical liaison for the PennFIRST team.

Megan Mariotti, CRNP, MPH, assistant director of Operations for Health Care Innovation, was on hand to conduct the blood pressure screenings and provide counseling as needed. Penn Nursing nurse practitioner student Michelle Lu was by her side to offer support and learn more about the importance of these types of screenings. Mariotti hopes to offer the opportunity for more nursing students to help with future screenings. The first screenings took place in August, with more scheduled throughout the fall. 

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