HealthReach addresses heart health | Local News | – Mooresville Tribune

HealthReach nurse practitioner Cheri Granillo, checks a patient’s blood pressure.
HealthReach intern and Davidson College pre-med student, Paul Gomez, shows some of the scales that were donated from the American Heart Association.
With help from the American Heart Association, United Way of Iredell County, and local cardiologists, HealthReach is helping uninsured patients achieve their heart health goals.
Although American Heart Month is drawing to a close, HealthReach Community Clinic has received support from multiple community partners that will propel its heart health initiatives for years to come.
As Iredell County’s only free medical clinic, HealthReach treats hundreds of patients each year with diseases of the heart and blood vessels. “About one out of every three patients we see has hypertension,” said Dr. Stephanie Sittler, medical director. “And mitigating risks to heart health is something we do with nearly every patient.”
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, yet many risk factors can be managed. Clinicians at HealthReach strive to improve medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol, so that the risk of heart attack and stroke is reduced. Changes in diet and exercise are also encouraged, along with smoking cessation counseling.
“Our efforts were commendable, but we recognized that we could do even more with help from our community partners,” said Dr. Sabrina Niggel, executive director. “Everyone has been so hyper-focused on COVID that many other serious health conditions have been ignored. In February we renewed our focus on heart health and — thanks to several key partners — we’re better positioned than ever to prevent, diagnose, and treat cardiovascular conditions.”
One such partner is the American Heart Association, which awarded grant funding to HealthReach for a new program that empowers patients to take control of their own heart health.
The Heart Health at Home program will target uninsured, low-income patients with a diagnosis of hypertension and a BMI over 29.
The goal is to improve blood pressure control and the negative effects of high blood pressure on the body.
Grant funds will enable HealthReach to provide special electronic blood pressure cuffs and scales for enrolled participants. Using research from the American Heart Association, HealthReach team members will work closely with patients to monitor health indicators and tweak interventions as needed.
In addition to this equipment, HealthReach has been working to raise money for a new EKG machine through the United Way of Iredell County’s Love United Iredell campaign.
“Only about half the funds needed have been raised so far, but there is still time to give!” said Niggel.
Although the 14-day campaign has ended, anyone who is interested in donating can still visit to help HealthReach and other nonprofit organizations reach their respective goals.
Local cardiologi
Oftentimes HealthReach patients have heart conditions that require more involved, specialty medical services such as echocardiograms and cardiology consultations. Partnerships with both Iredell Physician Network and Piedmont HealthCare enable HealthReach patients to access these and other important health services.
Statesville Cardiovascular Clinic and Iredell Cardiology, both part of Iredell Health System and the Iredell Physician Network, provide charitable health services for patients referred from HealthReach.
“Everyone in these offices has been great to work with, from the front office staff to the cardiologists,” says Niggel. “They all go the extra mile to ensure that our patients are treated well and get the highest quality care.”
Piedmont HealthCare Heart & Vascular also supports HealthReach patients. As Niggel shared, “One of PHC’s newest cardiologists, Dr. Rajper, toured our clinic soon after coming to this area, and he showed such genuine interest in our work. Partnerships like these are the lifeblood of our clinic.”
HealthReach Community Clinic provides free medical care and medications to Iredell County residents with limited means and no health insurance. Services include primary care, pharmacy, labs, chronic disease management, preventive care and health screenings, mental health services, social work consultations, and referrals for services that cannot be provided onsite.
HealthReach is a volunteer-driven, community-based nonprofit organization providing health services to the uninsured since 2003.
Those interested in learning more about HealthReach Community Clinic, visit or call 704-663-1992.
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HealthReach nurse practitioner Cheri Granillo, checks a patient’s blood pressure.
HealthReach intern and Davidson College pre-med student, Paul Gomez, shows some of the scales that were donated from the American Heart Association.
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