Resident of the Month - FebruaryDr. Dominic Vanchieri

Dr. Dominic Vanchieri is currently a second year Family Medicine Resident at the Washington Health System. He has a passion for preventative medicine and a special interest in sports medicine. Dominic was born and raised in Erie, PA. He attended Penn State University in State College, PA, and earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology: movement science.  He then completed medical school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) in Erie, PA, before coming to Washington for residency. Dominic is married to his high school sweetheart, Julie. They are the proud parents of a 6-year-old boxer named Zoey and are excited to announce they are expecting their first child in July 2019.  In his spare time, Dominic enjoys cooking, traveling, fixing things, and spending time doing outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing. In the winter months, he and his wife love skiing and snowmobiling.

American Heart Month

February is designated as American Heart Month. In fact, February 2, 2019, is national “Wear Red Day” across the United States. “Wear Red Day” is intended to increase heart disease awareness. This year’s focus for American Heart Month is younger adults (ages 35-64) because across the U.S., cardiac death rates among this age group are on the rise. This is thought to be due to an increase in the number of heart disease risk factors at a younger age.

Several things including your health conditions, lifestyle, age, and family history can increase your risk for heart disease. These are called risk factors. Some of the risk factors for heart disease cannot be controlled, such as your age or family history, but you can take steps to lower your risk by changing the factors you can control.

You can lower your risk of heart disease by controlling other medical conditions. If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, you should work closely with your family doctor to actively manage these conditions. By establishing with and building a relationship with a family doctor, you can diagnose these high-risk conditions early and treat them accordingly.

Your lifestyle has a large impact on your risk for heart disease. By improving your lifestyle, you can improve your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels and lower your risk for heart disease and heart attack. A healthy lifestyle should include:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Getting enough physical activity
  • Not smoking or using other forms of tobacco
  • Limiting alcohol use

Take a moment in the month of February (perhaps on Valentine’s day – the day when hearts are on everyone’s mind) and talk with your loved ones about American Heart Month. Especially encourage those young adults in your life to schedule a preventative medicine visit with their family doctor.