Avera Medical Minute AHH: covering the cost for heart health - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute AHH: covering the cost for heart health

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Len Homelvig was one Diamond Mowers employee who took part in Planet Heart Len Homelvig was one Diamond Mowers employee who took part in Planet Heart
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American men and women with most problems popping up without warning. So how can you tell if a heart attack is in your future? Well, one local employer is going the extra mile to keep workers healthy.

Big tools and plenty of moving machines are just another part of the work day at Diamond Mowers Incorporated.

"We do a lot of welding, machining in-house, there's a lot of assembly work and we also do some mounting on customer supplied or our own tractors." said Len Homelvig, the Sioux Falls plant manager.

As a leader in commercial mower manufacturing, Diamond Mowers designs and builds every product from the smallest part to the largest. It's a strategy that allows them to control quality at every step of the process. Company president Bill Doyle has taken that same strategy and applied it to his employees by covering their cost of a Planet Heart Vascular and Heart Check.

"This was a no-brainer for me to have the employees do this, what if one of our people had something they didn't know about? If we can help them do that, that would be great!" said Doyle.

One of those employees was Homelvig who saw the screening as an opportunity to validate his health habits.

"For me personally I've been on maintenance medication for high cholesterol for several years and so this was an opportunity to make sure that the course of treatment that my doctor had me on was actually working and that was confirmed." said Homelvig.

Planet Heart is a comprehensive screening that checks a person's risk for heart disease. During the vascular screen, ultrasound is used to check the carotid and peripheral arteries for blockage and the abdomen for signs of aneurysm. A CT-scan is then done to get a person's calcium score or the level of calcium in the coronary arteries. Narrowed and blocked arteries strike as heart attacks everyday without warning, so who's to say the next one won't happen on the plant floor?   

"I look at it as this could save someone's life and that was important to me that if I can help them find this out that's why we did it." said Doyle.

The mower manufacturer employs men and women of all ages meaning Len wasn't the only one who took part in Planet Heart.

"Yeah I think there are a lot of people out here that took Bill up on his offer to take advantage of this. I think was a great thing especially for myself only been here less than a month and I still had the opportunity to participate in that." said Homelvig.

In fact, nearly a third of the workforce took part in making sure clogged arteries won't be delaying shipments in the future. Now, Diamond Mowers' 85 diligent workers are running as smoothly as the machines they build.

"We've been thrilled with it! It's a super good program!" said Doyle.

Individually, the heart check and vascular screenings cost $50 dollars or $75 for both. After the screen a nurse will go over your results and develop a plan for a healthier lifestyle. For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.
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