SALINE COUNTY, Ark. — Hundreds of Saline County residents are choosing to beat the odds and get screened. February is Heart Month, and Saline Memorial Hospital is offering free heart screenings.

For Michael Shipp, this year, he’s following in his father-in-law’s footsteps.

“He was a ticking time bomb, that’s what they said,” said Shipp of his father-in-law. “He came to this same screening event last year, they found he had 90 percent blockage among other things.”

Shipp believes the free check-up saved his loved one’s life. He went on to immediately have triple bypass surgery.

Now a year later, Shipp finds himself at the same heart screening event, with his father-in-law close in mind, but his heart health even closer.

“I haven’t ever gone through heart screening, but I’m here, my wife told me I needed too,” he said.

Shipp went through all the screening steps, including a blood pressure evaluation, cholesterol panel, and spoke with an on-site cardiology provider.

He learned his blood pressure was high, and got further instruction on what steps to take next to better his health.

Health providers said early detection is the purpose for the free screening. 

"We see people coming through the ER everyday who they are having a heart attack, maybe if they knew their numbers early on they would have known how to take care of it and prevent such things as heart attacks,” said Rebecca Jones, spokesperson for Saline Memorial Hospital. 

Heart Month had THV11's Jordan Howington thinking about the status of her health. She tossed her fears aside and went through the screen.

Ultimately, she learned a few things: Her heart rate was high at 124, but she had a “good” blood pressure.Health providers on-site said overall Jordan’s heart health appears to be great.

But doctors said, hundreds are expected to come through the doors this month, and not everyone will be as lucky as Jordan. 

"So, if we see even just a few people who we can identify as potential risks and help them, it is so worth it to us,” said Jones.

There are several dates this month set aside for the free services:

  • Friday, Feb. 15 at 1 p.m.- 3 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 18 at 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 28 10 a.m.-1 p.m.