Dr. Melissa Kemp speaks on Prevention of Heart Disease & Wellness at the June 2016 Meeting

Dr. Melissa Kemp, PA-C speaks at the June 2017 ASSE meeting on having a Healthy Heart.

The South Plains Chapter welcomed Dr. Melissa Kemp, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C, Clinical Manager at Concentra Urgent Care in Lubbock.

Dr. Kemp presented a very informative discussion on heart disease and the symptoms.  She stated that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death globally.

She went into detail on risk factors including: high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, alcohol use, and physical inactivity.  When we see these risk factors in ourselves or our employees it’s a warning sign, so she provided 3 simple rules to prevent heart disease.

The number one rule is to, “Look before you eat.”  She recommends eating a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Choose nonfat or low-fat products, with more lean meats – chicken and fish.  Limit intake of foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition, including soft drinks, candy and junk food. Importantly eat less than 6 grams of salt a day.  Salt comes hidden in many products so watch out.

The second rule in preventing heart disease is to Exercise! Maintaining a level of physical activity keeps you fit and increases the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in your body, the good kind.  “Sweating it out in the gym” she states is “not essential.” A good walk will do it!

The third rule is to stop smoking. The risk of a heart attack decreases within the first 24 hours after quitting smoking. Within 2 years, the risk decreases to that of a non-smoker. If you have employees that smoke, get them help to stop smoking.

The final rule she recommended was to, “Know you numbers.”

  • Total cholesterol < 200 mg/dL (milligrams/decaliter)
  • LDL <100 mg/dL
  • HDL >40 mg/dL
  • Triglycerides <200 mg/dL

Get your levels tested routinely and keep them under control.  Following a heart-healthy lifestyle is possible for you and your employees.

A link to her presentation is here:Prevention of Heart Disease

Speaker Bio:

Melissa Kemp, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C has a Doctoral Degree in Health Science with concentration in Advanced Physician Assistant Studies from AT Still University in Mesa Az., a Masters Degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center and a BS in Nutritional Science from Texas A&M University College Station.

Melissa has specialized in occupational medicine since 2006, when she began serving as the occupation health provider for the VA Medical Center in Big Spring, Texas.  She has also worked in both family practice and urgent care settings with an emphasis on occupational medicine.  She has served as a Physician Assistant and Clinical Manager for Concentra Urgent Care since 2012.  She has  a strong interest in preventative medicine, especially that which promotes health and safety in the workplace.

She has 2 sons who are attending Texas Tech and a daughter that will be in 6th grade at Cooper Middle School in the fall.  She spends most of her spare time in the near vicinity of a softball field.