Toss the salt and go take a long walk was part of the advice shared by graduate students from Mercer University’s School of Pharmacy during a health education seminar held at Clifton Sanctuary Ministries.
Preventing potentially fatal ailments such as strokes, diabetes, and hypertension was the focus of their discussion. The students offered health tips and conducted blood pressure screenings.
“That’s was some good information, very beneficial,” said Gene Tillman, a Clifton guest, who’s battled high blood pressure off-and-on for most of his adult life.
Rodney Crosby, 48, who’s smoked since he was 11-years-old, called the seminar eye-opening.
“They helped me realize that I got to put the cigarettes down and start making some changes,” he said.
The students are part of an organization called Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA), which is the Mercer chapter of National Pharmaceutical Association. It targets underserved communities by educating them on ways to achieve good health.
“Some people don’t always have access to this information, so it’s good for us to get out and go to them,” said Bhavisha Amin, a Mercer doctor of pharmacy and member of SNPhA.
Amin and her group spoke individually with some of the Clifton men about how they can lower their blood pressure and risk for stroke. Among their advice: Exercise at least three times a week, stop smoking, and strive for a diet low in saturated fats.
Strokes kill approximately 130,000 Americans each year, according from the Centers for Disease and Control. The organization also estimates that about 29 million Americans have diabetes, while 70 million live with hypertension.