Academy to get to the ‘heart of the matter’

Luis Martinez, Entertainment Editor

The Academy of Lifelong Learning is preparing an event addressing the issue of heart disease at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Services education wing.

The purpose of the presentation is to help people understand the risk factors, signs, and symptoms related to someone suffering from heart disease.

The presentation, titled “The Heart of the Matter”, also takes a look at what lifestyle issues and the possible risk they may present for one’s heart.

Marita Metzke, the program coordinator for the Academy of Lifelong Learning, said this is the first time the academy has done this to her knowledge.

“This event is designed to teach people that the symptoms of serious heart issues are different for men and women,” Metzke said. “It’s a health education presentation.”

Mark Kattenbraker, the associate director of the EIU adult fitness program, will be the present the program.

During this presentation, Jana Johnson, a development officer from WEIU radio and television, will give her own personal story as she experienced life-threatening symptoms.

“She was on a vacation in the fall last year, and she experienced very troubling symptoms, “ Metzke said. “She finished the vacation, came home. The symptoms did not resolve, she went to doctor as soon as she got home and they immediately hospitalize her.”

Metzke said Johnson will be sharing her experience during this time of her life, and how it affected her.

“She’s going to talk about that experience and how it affect her life, what her symptoms were, that are certainly different than what we typically think of when we hear about heart attack symptoms,” Metzke said. “Had she not been hospitalized, she would have mostly likely died. It was that critical.”

Some of the signs people should notice with heart attack victims include: chest discomfort, meaning any type of uncomfortable pressure or pain, shortness of breath, breaking out into a cold sweat, nausea and lightheadedness, according to the American Heart Association website.

Women are more likely to experience these other common signs than men are, especially shortness of breath, nausea and back or jaw pain.

“It’s information that can be critical for you or a friend or a family member,” Metzke said. “This is current information.”

This is not the first time the academy has partnered with Sarah Bush Lincoln for events

“This partnership has been in place for some time,” Metzke said. “It’s mutually beneficial.”

Metzke also said the presentation has the capacity for 50 people and there are still spots available. Anyone interested in attending the presentation is encouraged to contact the academy prior to the event.


Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]