ERIE, PA — The American Heart Association is hosting the 2018 Erie Heart Walk, an event that has been instrumental in innovative breakthroughs over the last 25 years. Since the inception of the Heart Walk, mortality rates from cardiovascular disease and stroke have plummeted by 45 percent. Each walker and each donation has helped to transform health statistics into lives saved, but there is more work to be done.
The walk is among 300 Heart Walks held in communities across the nation. Nearly 1 million people walk each year for a singular mission, to cure heart disease and stroke. This year the Erie Heart Walk will be held on Thursday, September 13 at Highmark Amphitheater at Liberty Park. Individuals and teams can register online at www.heart.org/eriewalk.
“The Heart Walk is still focused on its initial assignment, funding groundbreaking research through the passion of walking together to change lives,” said David Hopkins, Director of the LECOM Medical Fitness and Wellness Center and the 2018 Heart Walk chair. “I am honored to serve and play a role in the promise of a better future for younger generations to live.” LECOM Health is the Signature Sponsor for the 2018 Erie Heart Walk.
Each time someone laces up their shoes or forms a team to participate in the Heart Walk they are instrumental in innovative breakthroughs. Every donation helps create new technologies such as the artificial heart valve, cholesterol drugs, stents, and the mechanical heart pump which helps extend the life of patients.
“The American Heart Association has carved a place in the history of health by saying yes to progressing lifesaving science,” said LECOM Health cardiologist Carmine D’Amico, D.O. “The science of how we respond to heart disease and stroke has progressed tremendously. With a new generation lacing up their shoes to participate in the Heart Walk, I am excited to see the big solutions to come.”
Each day, about 2,150 Americans die from heart disease from cardiovascular disease- the No. 1 killer in the United States. Stroke, the No. 5 killer and a leading cause of severe disability, claims the lives of nearly 219,000 each year. In Erie, heart disease and stroke are the No.1 and No. 4 killers, respectively.
The Heart Walk is open to the community as all are welcome to participate and change the story of heart disease and stroke in Erie. Those who walk are committed to funding research that keeps hearts beating.
“What makes us passionate about walking is that the funds raised go to fueling hearts. Real human anatomical hearts,” Hopkins said. “What our Heart Walk team knows is that gratification isn’t about what you get when you give. It is about the satisfaction of knowing that your dollar isn’t going in a back pocket. Your dollar is going to change a life.”
Over the past 25 years the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association have funded $3.4 billion in research. But the work is far from done. The American Heart Association is nearing the $5 billion mark as we work to fund big ideas to pioneer breakthroughs in our understanding and treatment of heart disease and stroke.
In the past year, local support of the American Heart Association has funded efforts to train Erie high school students in CPR, launched a community-based program that helped more than 800 residents monitor and reduce their blood pressure and established guidelines that help local hospital teams receive recognition for their heart and stroke care.
For more information or to register for the Erie Heart Walk, visit www.heart.org/eriewalk.