Glanbia rolls out 700 free heart health checks for farmers

A programme offering free heart health checks for farmers in the Glanbia catchment area was launched by Glanbia earlier today (Wednesday, July 25).

A total of 700 free heart health checks will be provided by Irish Heart Foundation nurses as part of its ‘Farmers Have Hearts’ initiative, supported by the HSE, at Glanbia Ireland branches across the south-east of Ireland.

Health checks

The programme of health checks was officially launched by Minister for State at the Department of Health, Catherine Byrne, at Glanbia CountryLife Tullamore earlier today.

L-R: John Murphy, director, Glanbia plc; Marese Damery, Health Check manager, Irish Heart Foundation; Minister for State Catherine Byrne; Dr. Noel Richardson, lecturer, IT Carlow; Pat Butler, branch manager Glanbia CountryLife, Tullamore; and Sean Molloy, chief agribusiness growth officer. Image source: Jeff Harvey

The health checks are being carried out as part of a four-year study of approaches to helping farmers improve their cardiovascular health.

The study is being conducted by Teagasc PhD Walsh Fellow Diana Van Doorn at the National Centre for Men’s Health at IT Carlow and is also supported by Glanbia Ireland, the Irish Heart Foundation, the HSE and the UCD School of Physiotherapy and Performance Science.

Research carried out by the Irish Heart Foundation has shown that more than 80% of Irish male farmers have four or more risk factors for heart disease.

Finding the time to look after their health and fitting in a healthy lifestyle can be challenging for farmers. The four-year study adds significant value to the regular health checks undertaken each year through the ‘Farmers Have Hearts’ initiative.

Feedback on farmers’ experience of the heart health checks will help inform future health promotion programmes specifically targeted at Irish farmers.

So, what’s on offer?

As part of the initiative, farmers can avail of:
  • A free male heart health check from a qualified Irish Heart Foundation nurse at one’s local Glanbia Ireland location;
  • Measurements of cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and weight;
  • Results given on same day and hands-on advice on how to improve one’s health – receiving practical tips and follow-up encouragement and support to help you make changes to your lifestyle and improve your health;
  • A free repeat health check one year after your initial health check;
  • Follow-up support service by phone and text messaging offering personal tailored advice to help farmers make simple lifestyle changes specifically designed for them.

Speaking at the launch today, Minister of State Catherine Byrne, said: “This is a wonderful initiative designed to help and support farmers to take better care of their health.

‘Take that first step’

“We all lead busy lives and – none more so than farmers, so it is important to take that first step and avail of your free heart health check.

“The Government’s Healthy Ireland initiative encourages everyone, young and old, to make small positive changes to improve their health and wellbeing; to get regular check-ups and to eat well, think well and be well,” the minister concluded.

The checks will take place on the dates and places as listed below, according to Glanbia.

Glanbia farmers interested in participating can call the Glanbia Customer Service Centre on: 1890-321-321; or email: [email protected]