The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

February 28, 2013

HEART MONTH: Program helps people take care of their hearts

CLINTON — Providing a path to a healthy life is Dona Bark’s passion.

She knows the struggles women like her face every day. That’s what keeps her going, and people like Patrice Carter reap the benefits.

Carter had always been an active person, but as she was approaching 60 years old, she realized she wasn’t invincible anymore. A single parent devoted to helping others, Carter’s body began sending signals she didn’t recognize.

“I’ve always tried taking care of myself,” Carter said. “But when I hit a certain stage and looked at family history, I started paying attention a little more.”

That’s when Bark stepped in. Bark is the Iowa Care For Yourself coordinator for Clinton and Jackson counties. The program provides Iowa women between the ages of 40 and 64 a way to pay for screening for breast and cervical cancer, along with cardiovascular screening at no cost.

The program worked well for Carter, who lost her job and her health insurance two years ago, when she started the program. It was a difficult time for Carter, but Bark’s persistence on caring for Carter’s needs without judging her, offered the peace of mind eluding Carter.

“Thin-king about being healthy doesn’t have to be about big things,” Bark said. “It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You just have to find a way to start.”

Carter began with the breast and cervical cancer screening, and recently started the cardiovascular screening, which includes testing of body mass index, cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure.

Testing is not the only advantage through the program. Participants are provided with material that offers information on healthy choices, and advisors discuss results and set goals for the future.

“You have the tools to pay attention, and to make better decisions,” Carter said. “The stuff you learn along the way, it’s nice to have reminders.”

Those tools are especially noticeable in the participants that receive surprises from lab results, Bark said.

“Some people are shocked by their lab work,” Bark said. “The people who set goals, when they come back the next year, their numbers are different and they’ve changed for the better. People sometimes need someone to bring the interest to them.”

The Care For Yourself program isn’t for everyone. Only women older than 40 can be admitted into the program. Also, women must meet income guidelines and not have Medicare Part B.

Income guidelines are set on household occupancy. In a household of one, a woman must make $28,725 or lower. With two people in the household, a person must make $38,775 or lower. The guidelines increase $10,050 with every increasing household member.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Carter said. “I was a little bit proud to go to a program, but I wasn’t taking care of myself and really couldn’t. This was the most compassionate and understanding staff. I never for an instant felt like I was getting assistance that wasn’t needed.”

Things are going better for Carter. She’s eating better and she recently got called back to where she previously worked.

And those results keep the passion alive for Bark.

“This is a great program, but the greatest payback, is being healthier,” Bark said.

For more information on the Iowa Care For Yourself program, call Bark at 244-4925.

1
Text Only
Features
  • Miss Clinton County 2014 Wiebers crowned 2014 Miss Clinton County

    For nearly all of her life, Taylor Wiebers has dreamed of winning the title of Miss Clinton County.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meet Your Neighbor: JR Kuch takes the reins at Clinton High School

    Working as a high school helper during his senior year at North Scott High School, JohnRyan "JR" Kuch first stepped onto the path of teaching and administration.

    July 26, 2014

  • Evergreen job fair in the works

    The Clinton Regional Development Corp. and the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce are lining up companies to participate in a job fair exclusively for the soon-to-be displaced employees of Evergreen Packaging.

    July 26, 2014

  • Zeiser photo 85 years a nun By Brenden WestAssistant EditorCLINTON — There are things you outlive over a lifetime.Sister Bertha Zeiser, 103, grew up in a Clinton County town that no longer exists (formerly known as Browns); the house she was born in is now a cornfield somewhere

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (with VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014

  • Stewart McCaskill photo McCaskill settles into new role at shoe store CLINTON — An Oklahoma boy at heart, Stewart McCaskill is settling into Clinton and Brown’s Shoe Fit.The 35-year-old has worked with the Brown’s Shoe Fit company for seven years. His brother-in-law, who manages a Brown’s in Colorado, brought Stewart i

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • Darryl Hogue mugshot Hogue will lead River Bend schools FULTON, Ill. — Nearly eight months after opening the search, the River Bend School Board has found a replacement for the retiring district superintendent Robert “Chuck” Holliday.Darryl Hogue, principal of Morrison Junior High School, in Morrison, Ill

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-22-14 water 2 Rotary Club donation gets water to Haitians CLINTON — Nine Haitian communities now have the blessing of clean water due to the work of local Iowa Rotary clubs, including Clinton’s, and the charity Water for Life.Water for Life Directors Joy and Leon Miller have been drilling wells for years as

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Facebook