Healthy Horizons

Success Stories

Virginia Rumph

Spotlight: RumpAssociate Professor and Serials Librarian Virginia Rumph has achieved and maintained a healthy blood pressure level for years, with help from Healthy Horizons' blood pressure management program. Regular on-campus monitoring of her blood pressure and sound medication advice from staff pharmacists makes Rumph feel more in control of her life and overall health.

Here is her story, in her own words. 

How has the Healthy Horizons’ blood pressure management program helped you? ~ Show Response

About the time that Healthy Horizons was created [in 2004], my blood pressure spiked. That got me in their door. I started with blood pressure weekly checks. It was perfect, right on campus. I didn't have to trek to a doctor's office.

Working with both Healthy Horizons and my doctor, I discovered that my elevated blood pressure was not a fluke. Over several months, we kept trying different things to bring it down - different diet, prescriptions - trying to get a regime I was comfortable with.

Healthy Horizons staff members were the ones who found the way to do it. When I wanted to change medications or dosages, it wasn't just my feeling that something wasn't right. I had a statement I could take to my doctor from the Healthy Horizons pharmacists of the monitoring they had been doing, and their recommendation to take a particular combination of meds and dosages.

They are my go-to people on medications. I ask their advice. They have never let me down.

I have several chronic conditions that I take medications for, and I wanted to manipulate my dosages, and minimize the number of prescriptions I was taking. The Healthy Horizons pharmacists are very up-to-date and knowledgeable about all my medications and how they needed to be balanced.

How do you stay healthy? ~ Show Response

Through regular Healthy Horizons monitoring of my blood pressure, I knew I was on the right track. It helped me with my stress level, calmed me down. It was reassuring psychologically. Healthy Horizons was there for me every step of the way, looking after me. I didn't have to worry.

Healthy Horizons educated me about my condition. They helped me set goals for changing my diet and exercise habits. They encouraged me to start small, and not try to be Superwoman.

I began checking sodium levels on foods, especially processed ones. I look for lower sodium options, which are getting more available. I've found certain organic foods that have less sodium and taste pretty good; they aren't bland.

I had been exercising a fair amount already. I walk from home to work and for some errands. Through Healthy Horizons, I became more aware of the benefits of exercise and tried to up my levels of exercise.

What have been some obstacles you have faced? ~ Show Response

Being aware of how certain situations can raise my blood pressure. For example:

  1. Stress - If something is bothering me, it will be reflected with a rise in my blood pressure reading.
  2. Pain - I have other health conditions that can cause me pain, which can raise blood pressure.
  3. Knowing you can't get away from sodium entirely in food. I have to make choices when I'm eating food that other people have chosen for campus events or business conferences. I have to minimize my portions of higher sodium foods, and eat more of lower sodium foods that are offered.

When I have to deal with one of these situations, I'm not as surprised or concerned as I would have been previously.

What did you do to overcome those obstacles? ~ Show Response

Awareness is the first step. I found the people in Healthy Horizons so easy to talk to about any health concerns that come up. They will research the issue for me.

My colleagues in the Science Library are another Butler health resource. We have a fabulous medical library on this campus where you can do your own research on health issues or ask help from the librarians. And, it's free. I've asked the Science librarians to help me find information about potential surgeries and various medical concerns.

Healthy Horizons also provides the fasting cholesterol tests I get twice a year. The people in Healthy Horizons and the Science Library want to help you.

What keeps you motivated? ~ Show Response

I am motivated by fear of the health consequences if I don't control my blood pressure. I don't want this to get out of hand.

I'm also motivated by the knowledge that I'm taking control of this part of my life with the help of Healthy Horizons.

People off campus with whom I've shared information on my health encourage me to keep at it.  They don't have the type of employee wellness service we have in Healthy Horizons. They're envious. Healthy Horizons is a treasure.

What staying healthy tips do you have for others? ~ Show Response

  1. Reduce stress if you can. Healthy Horizons offers free programs that can help.
  2. Become aware and educated about your own health risk factors and find ways to avoid them, such as making changes in lifestyle, diet, or exercise. The Healthy Horizons' restaurant guide shows fat, sodium, sugar, and other levels for a lot of popular menu choices, even for some fast food restaurants.
  3. Try large and small changes to improve your situation. People think they have to change their lives radically. Healthy Horizons suggests that you start small in exercise or other lifestyle changes. Then as you get more confidence, you can make incremental increases in what you're doing. Take the stairs rather than an elevator. Walk the long way around sometimes. Take a break from work to walk around your building.
  4. Take advantage of Healthy Horizons programs. People might not use Healthy Horizons resources because they feel that their doctor is taking care of their health. Healthy Horizons can be an added benefit to what you're getting from your doctor.

Many people feel they are fairly healthy now and don't need help. But, it would be good for everybody-even those in good health - to educate themselves about their health risks. As you age, things happen. If you can be aware of potential changes, you can perhaps minimize how they affect your health.