Published: Oct 18, 2019 08:00 AM
Veterans and first responders were invited to attend American Legion Post 202 Newtown/Brookfield’s first Cardiac Prevention and Wellness Clinic at the Newtown Community Center on Thursday, October 10, from 3:30 to 8 pm.
Onsite were a variety of town, state, and federal organizations offering health advice and resources to those who have served.
Attendees had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with representatives and sign up for programs and groups they were interested in learning more about.
The clinic was created as “a unique opportunity for members of our community and our state to learn about potential cardiovascular conditions. It has been shown that combat exposure for veterans who have been deployed — as well as chronic stress that can affect veteran and first responders (fire, police, EMS) — can greatly increase the risk for heart disease at younger ages,” Donna Monteleone Randle, senior vice commander of American Legion Post 202, stated in a Letter To The Editor (“Cardiology Prevention And Flu Clinic Planned,” October 4, 2019) prior to the event.
With that in mind, Sheila Mattei, of the Cardiology Department of the West Haven VA Hospital, conducted free personalized risk assessments and recommended treatment plans.
Dental Associates of Connecticut staff members also counseled attendees on the relationship between oral care and heart health; and the Bethel Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) administered flu shots after 4 pm.
The Cardiac Prevention and Wellness Clinic was co-hosted by the Newtown VNA, Newtown Health District, Dental Associates of Connecticut, Bethel VNA, Newtown Community Center, and the Chamber of Commerce of Newtown.
There was also collection of nonperishable foods for FAITH Food Pantry.
For more information about American Legion Post 202, visit facebook.com/americanlegionnewtown.
American Legion Department of Connecticut Commander Dennis Beauregard, left, and member Jim LaCoursiere man the group’s booth at the Cardiac Prevention and Wellness Clinic at the Newtown Community Center on October 10. The two signed up members and, as Mr LaCoursiere said, “We’re bringing awareness to veterans and families about benefits offered to them.” —Bee Photos, Silber
American Legion Post 202 Senior Vice Commander Donna Monteleone Randle listens to a veteran during the Cardiac Prevention and Wellness Clinic, which offered a variety of resources to veterans and first responders.
Jason Coppola, of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs, speaks to Korean War veteran E.J. Weldon at the Cardiac Prevention and Wellness Clinic that took place at the Newtown Community Center on October 10. Mr Coppola informed attendees on a number of services the organization provides, including help with healthcare, temporary family housing, cemetery and memorial services, residential programs and services, and advocacy and assistance.
From left, local veterans Ray Wisniewski, District 1 VFW quartermaster, and Jay Mattegat, American Legion Post 202 junior vice commander, converse at the Cardiac Prevention and Wellness Clinic.
Danbury Vet Center Director Miguel Rodriguez, second from left, speaks with an attendee at the Veterans Affairs Health Care booth on October 10. His organization’s mission “is to welcome home our war veterans by providing quality readjustment services in a comfortable, confidential, and safe environment.” To his right is Orville Grizzle, community outreach specialist with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, helping enroll a veteran.
Illianne Corona, legal assistant specialist for Veterans Benefits Administration, sits down with United States Air Force veteran Ken Dabin of Monroe to tell him about some of the services the organization offers. The Veterans Benefits Administration, located in Newington, specializes in federal benefits, including pension benefits, and can provide referrals and assistance with paperwork.
Illianne Corona, legal assistant specialist for Veterans Benefits Administration, handed out the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Federal Benefits booklet and cites this list of phone numbers and websites as a valuable resource for veterans.