3rd annual Parkland Day offers community engagement, free health resources

As a part of the Third Annual Parkland Day, UofL Health's Dr. Kim Allen Williams breaks down how to prevent the United State's biggest killer, heart disease.
Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 11:22 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Saturday marked the Third Annual Parkland Day Celebration in Louisville’s District One.

The event featured live entertainment, a kid’s zone and community resources like free health screenings from UofL Health.

An opportunity medical experts hope people in the West End take advantage of.

The leading cause of death for Americans is heart disease, and it’s been that way, with the exception of one year, since 1918.

However, doctors want to put an end to that by ensuring people are more informed about their health.

Among the fun and games that filled up 28th Street for Parkland Day laid a giant heart representing the biggest killer in the U.S.

A reality that UofL Hospital’s Department of Medicine Chair Dr. Kim Allen Williams said can be prevented.

“80% of our health care costs are actually about illnesses that we can control and prevent if we did the right diet, which is a whole food plant-based diet, and exercise regularly,” Dr. Williams said. “Maintain our weight, control the blood pressure, control the blood sugar, control the cholesterol, don’t smoke and sleep properly.”

Dr. Williams said one of the main reasons people can’t get their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar under control is because they don’t know what they are, and they’re not measuring them regularly.

It is a point of emphasis for UofL Health and something they hope to change.

“So that’s what we’re here for,” Dr. Williams said. “We’re actually measuring those three parameters and if you are in the right age group, 40-70, we can actually put that all into a calculator from the American College of Cardiology that will tell you your 10-year risk of having a heart attack, stroke or death.”

While the advancement of medicine has made curing the problem easier, Dr. Williams said we are mopping up the floor when we can just turn off the faucet and not even use those procedures.

“I have to admit in cardiology we have some pretty good mops, okay,” Dr. Williams said. “Stints, bypasses, defibrillators but why are we doing that? It’s because we need to get people to understand that they can take care of themselves and prevent those events.”

Dr. Williams said it’s important to be proactive in gauging your health because if you don’t know, then you can’t make a change.