Friday, October 1, 2010

MGHers walk for better heart health


Heart disease and stroke are the first- and third-leading causes of death in the United States. To support the fight against these deadly diseases, MGH staff, patients and families joined more than 17,000 walkers at the American Heart Association's (AHA) annual Heart Walk on Sept. 11.

More than 400 walkers from the MGH participated, making it one of the largest organizations represented. Among the MGH walkers was David Torchiana, MD, chairman and CEO of the MGPO, who served as co-chair of the event. The MGH team raised more than $58,000 to fund the AHA's research, education and advocacy efforts in the Greater Boston area. The 2010 Boston Heart Walk has raised $1.7 million to date, and donations will continue to be accepted through Oct. 15.

"The money raised by the AHA funds important initiatives in the Boston area to reduce heart disease and stroke in our community and help researchers and clinicians improve treatments and find cures," says Eric Isselbacher, MD, associate director of the MGH Heart Center.

After completing the one-, two- or six-mile courses along the Charles River Esplanade, participants enjoyed heart-healthy food and activities. The MGH Heart Center also hosted a visitors' tent featuring information about reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors. Visitors could spin the "Risk Factor Wheel" and answer heart-related questions to win various prizes.

"Heart disease is often preventable, so it is important for us to support events like the AHA Heart Walk that help raise awareness about risk factors and good cardiovascular health," says Stathis Antoniades, senior administrative director for the Heart Center and captain of the MGH Heart Walk team.

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