It’s not often all four hospitals serving Southwest Louisiana residents join together for a cause. But last Saturday, representatives from  Christus St. Patrick, Lake Charles Memorial Health System, West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital and Women & Children’s Hospital came together at the Lake Charles Civic Center, with a joint message — know your numbers!

“Usually, the hospitals are competitors, working in a competitive market (to serve patients),” said Janice Ackley, coordinator for Dare to be Healthy (a  Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana supported grant program). “But in this instance, they came together to address the community.”

And what numbers are we talking about? The big three when it comes to health indicators: blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.

“They are the numbers that will tell you if you are at risk for heart disease, diabetes and other health problems,” said Louise McDaniel, workplace wellness coordinator for Christus St. Patrick Hospital. “These are problems nationwide, but Louisiana in particular has very high rates of obesity and related health issues. And knowing your numbers, that is what will help you take control of your own health.”

That’s why Arlene Treme, 53, of Elton, showed up Saturday. Her 82 year old daddy (who already knows his numbers well, she says) read about the screening in the paper and demanded she take part.

“And when daddy tells you to do something, you don’t argue. You just do it,” she said with a smile.

And when her numbers came back higher than expected, she was more grateful than ever to her father…

“This really needs to go down,” a hospital staffer said after looking over her cholesterol reading. “Really down.”

Arlene didn’t argue.

“I’ll be at the doctor on Monday,” she said. “I didn’t want to hear that, but I needed to. It’s why I came.”

About 300 people turned out for the day’s event, which also included health counselors, nutritionists and doctor referrals. The community screening (dubbed Know Your Numbers) will be held annually, so look for the new date next year! But if you don’t know your numbers, don’t wait that long! Consult a doc near you soon!