HRHS signs on as major sponsor of Heart Walk

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Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System (HRHS) working in conjunction with the American Heart Association (AHA) has signed on again this year as the Signature Sponsor of the annual Heart Walk, which is scheduled for Saturday, September 23.

Walkers can check in beginning at 8 a.m. at the registration table in front of Lockman Hall on the Hutchinson Community College campus and will have the option to choose a one or three mile route. The walk starts promptly at 9 a.m.

Interested parties can register for the walk by logging on to the AHA website at www.hutchinsonheartwalk.org. There is no charge for participation and snacks and refreshments will be served throughout the event.

Other activities planned as a part of the Heart Walk include having representatives of the Hutchinson Community College Nursing program on site to provide blood pressure checks, scheduled children’s activities, and AHA representatives supplying tips on CPR. Several heart and stroke survivors are slated to participate in the walk.

A Yoder smoker grill valued at more than $2,000 will be raffled off following the walk. Tickets can be purchased the day of the event for $5 each.

The AHA has been a long-time partner of HRHS on a number of health initiatives. Last year, the AHA trained nearly 7,000 Reno County residents in CPR. Nationwide, the AHA invests $132 million annually in heart and stroke research.

Last month, the AHA named Hutchinson Regional Medical Center winner of the Silver Stroke Quality Achievement Award in recognition of the hospital’s commitment and success for utilizing the most advanced methods in treating stroke patients.

Many benefits are produced by adding walking to an exercise program. Prevention, a publication supporting a healthy lifestyle, says walking improves mood, creative juices flow better following a vigorous walk, and better health makes our goals more attainable.

The Arthritis Foundation says walking increases longevity of life, improves circulation, shores up bones and muscles, improves sleep, provides joint support, and slows mental decline. Aerobic walking and resistance exercise programs may reduce the incidence of disability in the daily activities of people over the age of 65.

Statistics on heart disease are staggering as 720,000 Americans suffer heart attacks each year and, for one fourth of that number, it is a second occurrence. The Heart Foundation reports that more than 800,000 die each year from heart disease, which is greater than all forms of cancer combined.

HRHS sponsorship of a heart-related event is fitting because Hutchinson Regional Medical Center (HRMC) is a destination healthcare facility in this area for treating patients with issues relating to the heart. During 2016, the Heart and Vascular Center at HRMC performed more than 2,000 heart procedures, including open heart surgery to installing pacemakers and stents.

The HRMC Heart and Vascular Center is well prepared to combat heart disease throughout our service area, which stretches west from Hutchinson to the Colorado border and north to the state line of Nebraska. Our high-caliber team includes Drs. Mike Hagley, T.K. Reddy, Jamil Ahmed, and Costy Mattar. Also, part of the cardiac treatment team is cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Rob Fleming.

Our cardiovascular team is a trailblazer in the treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), sometimes referred to as limb salvage. Left untreated, PAD may result in leg amputation or life-threatening situations.

A common measurement for cardiovascular treatment at healthcare facilities is “Door to Balloon Time,” which translates to the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and the moment when blood flow is returned to the heart. National accrediting agencies mandate hospitals provide positive results in 90 minutes. At HRMC, average “Door to Balloon Time” is 58 minutes, or more than one-third less than national guidelines.

The greatest gift we can give ourselves is the gift of good health, so let’s all rise early on Saturday, September 23 and spend part of our morning walking to support a healthier lifestyle. It will be time well spent as the AHA reports that as little as 30 minutes of daily exercise will lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels.