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Keeping hearts healthy in Tassie’s north west

Posted on October 16, 2019

Tasmanian nurse Elesha Fromm was sitting in an Adelaide conference room when the speaker picked an Australian region with a high rate of heart disease as a workshop case study.

The area they chose was Waratah-Wynyard — Elesha’s own backyard.

“When I saw they picked my area as their case study, I thought, I need to do something big,” the Rural Health Tasmania team member says.

Elesha was already committed to the cause of good cardiac health, having completed the Heart Foundation’s 12-month ambassador program.

But she says going to the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA) conference, and seeing her hometown used as a high-prevalence case study, inspired her to try something new.

So, she came up with an idea: Paint the Town Red.

“It’s a really sobering fact that 51 Australians die each day due to heart disease. That’s one person every 12 minutes.”

Over 5 and 6 August, the Paint the Town Red campaign saw Elesha and her supporters spread the message of good cardiac health all over the Waratah-Wynyard region.

Elesha gave talks at libraries and childcare centres, was interviewed by the local media, and encouraged local shopfronts to get involved by displaying red paper hearts in their front windows.

“It’s a really sobering fact that 51 Australians die each day due to heart disease,” Elesha, who was one of seven nurses sponsored by Primary Health Tasmania to attend the APNA conference, says.

“That’s one person every 12 minutes.”

You can read Elesha’s full story, and many others, in an upcoming edition of Primary Health Matters.

(Pictured: Elesha and the Happy Heart mascot)