Saint Agnes Hospital

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Women’s Heart Center Helps Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

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Saint Agnes helps teachers focus on their health, thanks to relationship with Debbie Phelps.


Saint Agnes and Debbie Phelps formed a strong bond through a passion for women’s health. Phelps is a big supporter of the Women’s Heart Center at Saint Agnes after undergoing a 60 Minute Heart Check that changed the way she looks at her health.

Working with Saint Agnes, Phelps has made a point to challenge other women in and around Baltimore to change the way they look at their own health, lending her personality to advertising, magazine articles, speaking engagements and annual reports. Her passion to spread the word about women’s heart health is contagious and has inspired many women to get their own screenings.

Recently, Phelps asked if Saint Agnes would help her support one of her other major passions—teachers. Saint Agnes was happy to oblige and created a program to celebrate teachers at several local schools during Teacher Appreciation Week. Representatives from the Saint Agnes Women’s Heart Center and longtime community partner Wegman’s visited the faculty of Riverview Elementary, Loch Raven Technical Academy, Pikesville Middle School, Randallstown Elementary School and Perry Hall High School for a day focused on taking care of your health and your heart!

Wegman’s provided either a breakfast or lunch focused on healthy eating at each school followed by brief presentations by the Women’s Heart Centers, Medical Director, Shannon Winakur, MD and Paula Guarante, certified cardiovascular nurse. Each teacher was given a health-focused gift bag from Saint Agnes that included fresh fruit, a fruit infuser water bottle, and a letter from Winakur stressing the prevalence of heart disease, the need to know your personal baseline and steps everyone can take to improve their heart health. As space permitted massage therapists gave seated massages to remind the busy faculty of the need to find time to slow down and relax.

Most importantly the teachers were presented with a 50% off coupon for the Saint Agnes 60 Minute Heart Check, which provides a full health assessment through a personal health risk profile, EKG and lab work to test A1C, (a measurement of blood glucose/diabetes screening), and total cholesterol. The Check is followed by a one-on-one consultation with a certified cardiovascular nurse to review risk level and steps to decrease future issues.

The opportunity to bring two passions together could not have seemed more appropriate when Phelps, a former teacher herself, joined in the fun at Perry Hall High School. The break during a busy school day demonstrated how easy and important it is for teachers—and all women—to take 60 minutes for a life saving screening.

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