Paula Broeker, RN, had been putting off having a simple test to evaluate
her risk of developing heart disease for over a year. It’s not that
she wasn’t concerned. Paula’s mom had experienced her first
heart attack while pregnant with Paula and her second when Paula was 9
years old. When Paula was 19, her mom died from a third heart attack.
And Paula’s brother had a quadruple bypass four years ago. Paula
definitely had a strong family history of heart disease.
So why didn’t she have that simple test? Because
Calcium Scoring Screening wasn’t covered by her health insurance, and was available at a reasonable
cost only in Sioux Falls, SD, or Denver, Colo. Even though she knew she
should, it just wasn’t convenient for Paula to make the trip.
In February 2019, the Campbell County Health began offering Calcium Scoring
Screening for only $200 in Gillette, Wyoming.
The test uses a quick, painless
CT scan to measure the amount and location of calcification in the arteries of
your heart. Calcification happens when there are significant deposits
of fat, called plaque, in the arteries. The more plaque, the higher the
risk for heart disease. Calcium Scoring screening is designed for those
people who don’t have any symptoms of heart disease, but may still
be at risk. If there is a history of heart disease in your family, you
have high blood pressure, diabetes, or you are a current former smoker,
you are at risk for heart disease.
The test results can help you and your doctor target any treatment or lifestyle
changes before heart disease gets worse, like dietary changes, quitting
smoking, exercise or starting on medication. The test is done by the Campbell
County Memorial Hospital
Radiology department, and is available by appointment Monday-Friday. The referring
physician receives the test results so follow-up can be scheduled if needed.
“I had no idea what the findings would be,” said Paula. “
I knew from my nursing background that ignorance is not bliss, so I was
glad I finally did it.”
Paula’s test results were good. In fact,
Campbell County Medical Group Cardiologist
Dr. Nicholas Stamato told to her keep doing what she was doing to keep her risk for heart disease low.
“It gave me the peace of mind I was looking for,” said Paula.
Talk to your doctor to see if Calcium Scoring screening may be right for
you. Learn more at