The latest driver in stroke prevention is about to hit the streets of Melbourne, delivering a roadside inspection with a difference – free blood pressure checks.
The Ryman Healthcare Blood Pressure Van was launched at Nellie Melba Retirement Village in Wheelers Hill today, coinciding with World Stroke Day.
The BP Van will offer free five-minute health checks at venues including shopping centres, public events, and workplaces in support of the Stroke Foundation’s Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check campaign.
To mark the launch, Melbourne radio personality Denis Walter broadcast his afternoon show live from the village centre.
3AW broadcaster Denis Walter, right, on the air at Nellie Melba Retirement Village with stroke survivor Kevin English.
Denis has his own blood pressure checked in the van before hitting the airwaves, where he interviewed stroke survivor Kevin English.
Ryman Healthcare Community Relations Team Leader for Victoria Denise Thompson, said the organisation was excited to team up with Stroke Foundation to get the BP Van on the road.
“We’re a company that puts care at the heart of everything we do, so supporting the Stroke Foundation’s fight against stroke was an easy decision for us,” Denise said.
“Ryman already funds a BP Van in New Zealand, so knows the positive impact it can have in empowering people to understand their stroke risk and take steps to manage it.
“This van will save lives, there’s no doubt about it.”
Denis gets his blood pressure checked before hitting the airwaves.
Stroke Foundation Executive Director Marketing John De Rango said mobile health checks were another way of reaching people in different parts of the community and raising awareness of the dangers of high blood pressure.
“Stroke is a devastating disease that strikes the brain - the human control centre. It is one of this country’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability,” John said.
“High blood pressure is the main risk factor for stroke, but it can be managed through medication and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.
“The difficulty we face is high blood pressure often goes unnoticed because it has no immediate symptoms. That is why having a regular health check is so important.”
He said the foundation hoped the BP van would help thousands of Victorians to reduce their risk of stroke.
The BP van health checks will include a stroke and type 2 diabetes risk assessment.
Following the check participants are emailed their personal results and relevant health recommendations, including advice to see their doctor if necessary.