Q: In your opinion, how does education about heart health and heart disease prevention positively impact the overall heart health of older adults?
A: Empowering people with knowledge helps them to make better choices about lifestyle behaviors. The Cardiovascular Wellness Program at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) was developed by Dr. Kappagoda with this goal in mind, believing that optimal health can only be attained when one is informed about healthy living habits and act on that knowledge.
In this way, knowledge and action are interrelated; you can do more when you know more, and you know more when you do more. Our community-based program is open to all, and participants attend out of a desire to learn about their cardiovascular health. This desire to become educated transforms into a motivation to act, and the result is positive lifestyle choices and healthier people.
The Wellness Program has expanded into a large and vibrant community. From the initial 12 participants, the program roster has grown. Over 100 people have enrolled and currently 35-50 attend regularly. Student opportunities have expanded as well, with 6-15 students completing internships each semester. Educational classes are now held three days per week following exercise sessions. Classes may include, core lectures from Dr. Kappagoda’s curriculum, nutrition education taught by a registered dietitian, CSUS faculty, physicians, the program medical director, and student interns. For more information about the program visit: https://cardiovascularwellnessprogram.org/