Westfields cardiac rehab program receives certification

Westfields Hospital & Clinic announced Sept. 5 its cardiac rehabilitation program has been certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Cardiovascular programs are designed to help people with cardiovascular problems - such as heart attacks and coronary artery bypass graft surgery - recover faster and improve their quality of life. The program includes exercise, education, counseling and support for patients and their families.

AACVPR Program Certification is the only peer-review accreditation process designed to review individual programs for adherence to standards and guidelines developed and published by AACVPR and other professional societies. AACVPR-certified programs are recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available. The certification is valid for three years.

Give blood for National Preparedness Month

As the American Red Cross responds to wildfires and historic hurricanes, eligible donors are reminded that giving blood or platelets during National Preparedness Month in September is one way to help ensure the Red Cross is prepared to respond to patient emergencies across the country every day.

Hurricane Irma has forced the cancellation of dozens of Red Cross blood drives in the Southeast, resulting in more than 2,100 uncollected blood and platelet donations, according to a news release. Individuals in parts of the country unaffected by Hurricane Irma are encouraged to give blood or platelets to help ensure a sufficient blood supply. All blood types are currently needed.

Appointments can be made by using the Blood Donor App, visiting www.redcrossblood.org or calling 800-RED CROSS. To help reduce wait times, donors are encouraged to make appointments and use RapidPass, redcrossblood.org/rapidpass. Those who donate blood or platelets through Sept. 30 will receive a coupon for a free haircut at participating Sport Clips locations.

Mesothelioma Awareness Day is Sept. 26

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is promoting the dangers of asbestos and its link to the deadly mesothelioma cancer for Mesothelioma Awareness Day observed nationwide Sept. 26. An estimated 2,500 deaths a year are credited to mesothelioma, according to a news release.

Asbestos is a fire-resistant mineral once used heavily throughout the construction industry in schools, public buildings and homes erected before 1980. Asbestos fibers swallowed or inhaled can become lodged in the lining of major organs, which causes scar tissue and the growth of cancer cells. Though regulated in the U.S., asbestos is still legally imported, used and sold, according to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

For more information about mesothelioma and the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, visit www.mesothelioma.com.