Release date: Tue, 18th, Oct. 2016

Ballarat Community Health (BCH) has been recognised for its significant contribution to tackling heart disease at the Heart Foundation’s 2016 Awards Night, announced on October 14 in Melbourne.
Heart Foundation Victoria CEO Kellie-Ann Jolly commended BCH on their support in providing close to 900 free Heart Health Checks during Heart Health Week in 2015 and 2016.
“BCH has worked tirelessly to improve the heart health of their wider community and thanks to their efforts, more people within the Ballarat region understand the risk factors of heart disease,” Ms Jolly stated.
“Data illustrating that Ballarat had the highest rate of cardiovascular disease in Victoria, with around six people suffering a heart attack each week made our partnership with BCH a key priority.”
Ballarat Community Health CEO Robyn Reeves said survey findings from the heart health check participants in 2016 presented a positive impact on raising awareness about risk factors for heart attack and the changes that can be made to improve heart health.
“Our findings illustrate that people who have taken part in the Heart Health Checks have adopted lifestyle choices to increase their heart health, including increasing their physical activity and eating healthier food,” Ms Reeves said.
Key findings from the survey include:

  • More than four in five (80%) participants agreed or strongly agreed that they understood what their absolute cardiovascular (CVD) risk score meant for them
  • Almost four in five (80%) participants had referred to the healthy heart guide consumer booklet since their check
  • More than three in four (77%) people who were provided healthy eating advice took action on the advice recommended by the nurse.
  • More than four in five (84%) participants took action on the physical activity advice provided.

“We have been able to make a significant contribution to the wellbeing of our community throughout this partnership and we’re very thankful to have been recognised by receiving a President Award from the Heart Foundation,” Ms Reeves said.
A common theme from respondents was that the heart health checks provided positive reinforcement and reassured them that they were doing the right thing in regard to lifestyle and maintaining a healthy heart.
Key findings evaluating the success of the initiative during Heart Week (1-7 May 2016) found the recommendation by nurses regarding healthy eating advice and increased physical activity were the most common actions taken up by heart health check participants.

Media contact: Lauren Wall, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Ballarat Community Health, 03 5338 0512
Media contact: Fleur Jacobs, Media and Communications Advisor, Heart Foundation Victoria, 0423 827 697