A series of blood pressure kiosks are popping up in the Northwest Georgia region to encourage underserved communities to monitor their cardiac health.
The More Heart Advisory Board, formed by Floyd Medical Center in 2020, is made up of leaders from minority communities in Floyd, Polk and Chattooga counties.
The purpose of the board is to address health issues — in this case they specifically targeted high blood pressure — in minority and low-income populations, according to FMC spokesperson Dan Bevels.
Through the program, board members came up with the idea of placing four blood pressure kiosks in popular locations, like a beauty salon or church.
The machines are similar to the ones you’d see at a pharmacy or grocery store. A list of directions is displayed on the machine and, while the person waits for their results, they can read tips for heart health from Floyd Medical Center.
A fifth machine will be placed at a yet undetermined location in Chattooga County.
Lovejoy Baptist Church is home to one of the machines in South Rome. Rev. Carey Ingram, who’s also a member of the health committee, said they’re always looking for ways to spread information to the community or help people who might not be able to afford to go to a doctor.
Anyone is welcome to stop by the church and test their blood pressure to see if they’re healthy or if they need to see a doctor. If it’s an emergency, Ingram said he’d be willing to drive them to the hospital.
They also plan to invite anyone who shows up to their food and clothing giveaways to have their blood pressure tested.
“Hopefully, these machines will open up other ideas that the community will come up with,” Ingram said. “We want people to be healthy and when we all work together, we can get things done.”
The other three machines can be found at Wraps Styling Salon on Second Avenue, Frost and Barron Apartments on Fifth Avenue and One Door Polk on North Main Street in Cedartown.