MGH Heart Center staff and patients laced up their walking shoes to support the fight against heart disease and stroke during the American Heart Association's (AHA) annual Heart Walk Sept. 13. Approximately 300 walkers on the MGH team participated in the one-, three- or six-mile routes along the Charles River Esplanade. The team's efforts raised nearly $54,000 to fund AHA research, education and advocacy for heart disease and stroke.
"It is so wonderful to see our Heart Center patients and staff walking and participating together," says Kathleen Gallen, RN, BSN, Heart Center Outpatient Access nurse. "Our patients are the reason we feel strongly about raising money for the AHA. This money goes toward important cardiovascular research that eventually will benefit our patients."
HAVE A HEART: The MGH Cath Lab team walkers include, from left, Christine Smith, Jessica McKenna, Marla Purciello, Christine Joyce, Captain Rose Guanci, Sharon McKenna, Dena DeJoseph-Gauthier and Juno in front
This year's MGH Heart Walk team was named "Hearts of Gold" in memory of Herman K. "Chip" Gold, MD, an MGH cardiologist who was a pioneer in the field of interventional cardiology. Gold died earlier this year.
The Hearts of Gold walkers met in the Garden Room at the MGH for a healthy kick-off breakfast before heading over to the Hatch Shell where they enjoyed live entertainment and guest speakers prior to the start of the walk. The MGH Heart Center also was part of the post-walk festivities, which included nutritious food and heart-healthy activities. The center hosted an information tent where visitors could take a chance at spinning the Risk Factor Wheel and answer heart-related questions to win prizes. Volunteers at the tent also helped individuals determine their body mass index, a good indicator of healthy or unhealthy weight for adult men and women.
"A lot of people brought family and friends to be part of this great cause," says Christine Burton, a Heart Center staff assistant who helped organize the MGH team. "It was agreat event, and I think everyone had a wonderful time."