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High Blood Pressure & Stroke Attack was the Focus for the Third Stop of the 2007 Empowerment Tour for a Healthier Life

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- "High Blood Pressure and Stroke Attack" was the topic of discussion on the third stop of the 2007 Empowerment Tour for a Healthier Life, where nearly 75 African-American females from the Greater Philadelphia Region were in attendance. The program, a part of the 8th Annual Health Ministry Program for Women, sponsored by the Health Ministry Program Coalition, Keystone Mercy Health Plan, Mercy Health System and Eli Lilly, was held at The Baptist Worship Center.

A panelist of medical professionals discussed vital information about how to measure and maintain blood pressure, the causes and results of different types of stroke and the many ways the disease can be prevented. They also stressed the importance of how a stroke, caught early, can vastly reduce the damage done to the body.

"Heart disease is not a man's disease," said Maureen McGlaughlin, RN, Nazareth Hospital, Mercy Health System. "One in thirty women die of breast cancer, yet one in two women die of heart disease and stroke. Within a year of having a heart attack, 38,000 women will die."

The American Heart Association reports that African Americans are at greater risk for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases than Caucasians. The prevalence of cardiovascular disease in black females is 44.7 percent and the rate of high blood pressure for black females, age 20 and older, is 45.4 percent. Fewer than half of African-American women (41%) consider themselves well informed about cardiovascular disease.

The Health Ministry Program for Women targets minority and underserved women of all ages and aims to equip them with the education, tools, and resources to keep themselves healthy through all stages of life.

The 2007 Empowerment Tour for a Healthier Life will include two additional community health conferences to be held at churches throughout the City. On Saturday, October 13th, Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, in South Philadelphia, will host the next stop of the tour where the topic will be "Heart Health." On October 27th, a celebration concert and conference finale will be held at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, in Northwest Philadelphia. Those interested in participating can register for all Health Ministry events by calling 215- 871-0400. Participants that attend three of the community conferences will receive a free copy of Pastor Alyn Waller's new CD at the finale conference and concert event.

About the Health Ministry Program for Women

The Health Ministry Program for Women targets minority and underserved women of all ages and aims to equip them with the education, tools and resources to keep themselves healthy through all stages of life. The program's annual health conference utilizes a faith-based environment to provide wellness education to address health disparities among minority women in the Philadelphia community. Since the program was launched, more than 60,000 women and young girls across the Greater Philadelphia Region have participated in its many workshops, seminars and conferences, using the church as a forum to deliver health information and knowledge that has empowered women to make healthy lifestyle changes.

About Keystone Mercy Health Plan

Keystone Mercy Health Plan is Pennsylvania's largest Medical Assistance (Medicaid) managed care health plan serving more than more than 290,000 Medical Assistance recipients in Southeastern Pennsylvania including Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Keystone Mercy Health Plan is a mission-driven, health care ministry of the Sisters of Mercy, with more than 20 years of experience. Its corporate parent partners are Mercy Health System and Keystone First, a subsidiary of Independence Blue Cross. Keystone Mercy's mission is to help people get care, stay well and build healthy communities. For more information about Keystone Mercy Health Plan, please visit

SOURCE Keystone Mercy Health Plan
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