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Matters of the heart focus of Isothermal event

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President Walter Dalton received information on healthy eating from Ashley Bryant, a member of the cardiac and pulmonary rehab department at Rutherford Regional Medical Center.

February has been Heart-2-Heart month on the campus of Isothermal Community College, and on Valentine's Day the Student Government Association hosted an event that focused on all matters of the heart.

"This is our first heart healthy information fair," said Ruth Colnot, Student Activities Coordinator for the college. "We are coming at the heart from all angles."

The fair, she continued, provided students an opportunity for information on protecting your heart from a health standpoint as well as information on domestic violence.

"We can send out information in an email, but having an event like this really makes information more tangible," she said.

Various organizations were on hand with information, including United Way and Family Resources. Rutherford Regional Health System provided information on smoking cessation and proper nutrition, as well as hands-on demonstrations of compression only CPR.

"Just compressions only is enough to circulate the blood in your veins," said Jason Carney, director of the Emergency Department at Rutherford Regional Medical Center. "People are often resistant to put their mouth on strangers, but what has been found is that the compressions are enough to create a vacuum to pull air into the lungs."

Carney demonstrated compressions for students and staff, and explained that humming the BeeGees "Stayin' Alive" was a good way to get into a rhythm of compressions.

"If you do it too fast, it's OK," he said. "You just want the palm of your hand in the center of the chest and compress about two inches for adults. You would do compressions continuously until help arrives."

Kelly Hudson and Kay Conner were representing Family Resources with information on domestic violence.

"We are talking with students today about what to look for that are red flags in a relationship - controlling behaviors, wanting to check your phone, isolating you from family and friends and being overly jealous," Hudson said.

A lot of times jealousy is mistaken for love, she said.

"We want to give them information on what a healthy relationship looks like and offer any support they need," she said. "All of our services are free of charge."

Events like this fit into the college's mission of lifelong learning, Colnot concluded.

"It really gives information to students on how to navigate life," she said. "In the classroom we are equipping them with critical thinking skills. This provides them with other tools to make healthy decisions."

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