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Walk for Heart Health

September 13, 2011

Hospital Hosts American Heart Association Event to Raise Awareness

Heart disease kills more Americans each year than any other disease. But next month you can take steps—literally—to change that.

On Saturday, Oct. 15, Washington Hospital invites community members to participate in the American Heart Association (AHA)’s Heart Walk®.

“This is a great chance for friends and family to walk for a cause that affects us all,” says Washington Hospital’s Director of Community Outreach Ruth Traylor. “Washington Hospital, along with Washington Township Medical Foundation, is sponsoring the event to help members of the community join in the fight against heart disease.”

According to the AHA, money raised through the event will go toward projects like:

  • Putting up-to-the-minute research into doctors’ hands so they can better prevent and treat heart disease among patients.
  • Groundbreaking pediatric heart and stroke research. (About 36,000 babies are born with heart defects each year—and research is the key to saving babies’ lives.)
  • Getting life-saving information to those who need it most—information that can save a life, like how to eat better, how to recognize the warning signs of heart attack, and how to talk to a doctor about critical health choices.

“It’s a fun event that encourages heart health through education booths, a kids’ zone and a one- or three-mile walk,” Traylor says. “The best part is that the whole family can get involved. There is no entrance fee and Lake Elizabeth is family friendly.”

The event also will feature several resources for participants to learn more about heart health and healthy lifestyle.

“Washington Hospital wanted to host an event that the whole community can get involved in,” she says. “The event will offer health screenings, information on CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and general information for people to live a healthier lifestyle. Washington Hospital would like to raise awareness about heart disease and also provide a healthy, fun means of promoting overall health and helping to prevent heart disease in our community.”

Community outreach to increase awareness about heart disease is a vital step in reducing the number of deaths associated with heart disease and other related conditions, according to Traylor.

“Even though it is the No. 1 killer, many people are not aware of the threat it poses,” she says. “This event will raise awareness, hopefully reaching populations at higher risk and educating children to develop lifelong healthy habits.”

By 2020, the AHA’s goal is to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent. And since lifestyle factors—such as healthy diet and regular physical activity—that reduce heart disease risk also reduce the risk of developing other chronic diseases like diabetes, the AHA says it hopes to help people build stronger health and a better quality of life overall.

“Stroke and heart disease affect us all,” Traylor says. “It can affect you, your family or your friends. Many of us know someone that has had a stroke or a heart attack, and it could happen to any of us at any time. The more awareness we have about ways to live healthier, the more it will benefit everyone in the long run.”

She urges everyone in the community to come out in support of a great cause—and have a great time.

“Everyone is welcome. Community members can join an existing Washington Hospital or Washington Township Medical Foundation team, they can create their own team, or sign up as an individual.  Everyone is encouraged to come out to the event, enjoy the health fair, walk around the lake and have a great time.”

Get moving for health!

The Heart Walk sponsored by Washington Hospital and Washington Township Medical Foundation will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15, from 8 to 11 a.m. at Lake Elizabeth in Fremont. The event opens to participants at 7:15 a.m.

For more information and a complete schedule of the events, visit or call 800-963-7070.