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Heart Walk raises spirits, funds for fight against disease

Oct. 11, 2012, 9:32 AM

This year’s Nashville Heart Walk, held Saturday on the Vanderbilt campus, raised more than $1.7 million for the American Heart Association. (photo by Steve Green)

The skies cleared and the sun shone on the 2012 Nashville Heart Walk that took place on Vanderbilt’s campus on Saturday.

The rain stopped and cool temperatures prevailed as thousands of walkers, and their beloved pets, took to the streets to raise funds for the American Heart Association (AHA).

Although money continues to trickle in to the local AHA offices, administrators said that the Heart Walk drew nearly 14,000 people and raised more than $1.7 million, representing an increase of more than $50,000 from last year.

Vanderbilt was well represented, with nearly 170 teams and more than 1,237 participants leading the way, raising more than $220,000.

“This was Nashville’s largest Heart Walk in terms of the number of participants and dollars raised,” said Kelley Tune, vice president of the Heart Walk. “It was a great celebration of heart disease fighters and healthy living, and also a time to honor lost loved ones.”

The Memorial Wall exhibit was one of the many attractions at the Nashville Heart Walk, held Saturday on the Vanderbilt campus. (photo by Steve Green)

Nashville’s annual walk to help in the fight against heart disease and stroke has consistently ranked among the top 10 walks nationwide. This year’s Greater Nashville campaign was led by C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System, and Marilyn Dubree, MSN, R.N., VUMC’s executive chief nursing officer.

“Vanderbilt’s role in helping us organize this event was great,” Tune said. “Dr. Paul Sternberg, Luke Gregory and Amy Major were great leaders for the Vanderbilt team. Sandee Tishler and Ed Higgins (Vanderbilt organizers) and their attention to logistics made the event what it was.”
The AHA currently funds $8.1 million in active research grants at Vanderbilt.

This year’s event drew nearly 14,000 people. (photo by Steve Green)

“Vanderbilt can be proud of the role it played in ensuring that the Nashville Heart Walk was a big success,” said Doug Sawyer, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.
“The money raised at the Heart Walk will directly benefit our research efforts.”

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