July 11, 2008

Ambitious goals set for Start! Heart Walk

Featured Image

Team captains listen as organizers discuss goals for this year’s Nashville Start! Heart Walk during Tuesday’s kickoff event. (photo by Neil Brake)

Ambitious goals set for Start! Heart Walk

Vanderbilt Medical Center held its kickoff for the 2008 Nashville Start! Heart Walk on Tuesday.

The Heart Walk will take place Saturday, Sept. 27, at a new time and location. Festivities begin at 8 a.m., and the walk starts at 10 a.m. on the Sports Club Field at the corner of Children's Way and 25th Avenue.

Last year, Vanderbilt raised nearly $300,000 for the American Heart Association (AHA) and was the fourth largest fundraiser in the country.

Overall, the Heart Walk raised $1.1 million for research and education. The Medical Center goal for this year is $400,000.

“I appreciate the fact that you're here and willing to drum up team members,” C. Wright Pinson, M.D., associate vice chancellor for Clinical Affairs, told the team captains. “The Heart Walk is very important for our medical center and the American Heart Association; it's an important part of what we do. We are very glad to participate in this fundraising activity.”

Pinson and Jeff Samz, chief executive officer of the Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute, are co-chairs of this year's Heart Walk.

“One of the reasons to support the Heart Walk over the years is the money we raise returns to Vanderbilt many times over,” Samz said, citing ongoing research supported by the AHA. Vanderbilt has $4.7 million in active research grants from the organization, which places it among the top 20 institutions in the country for funding.

The Nashville Heart Walk consistently ranks among the top 20 heart walks nationally, said Alyssa Evans, AHA Heart Walk director.

“We appreciate Vanderbilt's support, and I am confident Vanderbilt is going to reach its $400,000 goal,” she said.

Vanderbilt needs additional team captains. Each team captain is responsible for recruiting nine team members who together will raise at least $1,000. If you're interested in serving as a team captain, please contact Ed Higgins, assistant director of Marketing Outreach, at 936-0301 or ed.higgins@vanderbilt.edu.