September 4, 2009

Heart Walk seeks participants, donations

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Heart Walk seeks participants, donations

The American Heart Association (AHA) Start! Heart Walk is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26.

The AHA has made it easy for Vanderbilt University Medical Center employees to participate.

If you would like to join a team, visit the Nashville Heart Walk Web site at and click “find a team.”

If you are already on a team, you can give your donation to your team captain, donate online or attend the Heart Walk Bank Day.

Representatives from the AHA will collect donations on Wednesday, Sept. 23, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the conference room on the fifth floor Medical Center East.

The Heart Walk festivities begin at 8 a.m., at the Sports Club Field on the corner of 25th Avenue and Children's Way. The walk begins at 10 a.m. and will cover three miles. Festivities, including music and food, continue until noon. All participants will receive a T-shirt from their team captains.

“The Heart Walk is important to Vanderbilt on several levels,” said Keith Churchwell, M.D., executive director and chief medical officer of Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute and a co-chair of the Heart Walk.

“It supports the Start! initiative to encourage employees to exercise, and it directly supports our research efforts.”

VUMC's goal is $370,000 toward Nashville's target of $1.35 million. Last year, Vanderbilt was the third largest company fundraiser in the country and raised $330,000. Vanderbilt also had the top individual fundraiser, Warren Goodwin, vice president for Space and Facilities Planning.

“Vanderbilt plays an important role in the success of the Heart Walk,” said Kelley Tune, AHA vice-president of the Heart Walk. “We are looking forward to a strong showing from them again this year.”

“The Heart Walk is a fun, lively event that allows all participants to exercise while raising money for a good cause,” said Vanderbilt Heart Walk co-chair Martin Sandler, M.D., professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences. “I'd like to encourage everyone to participate and help us reach our goal.”

Funds raised by the Heart Walk return to Vanderbilt by way of research dollars. Vanderbilt has $5.8 million in active grants from the AHA, which is known for supporting research of junior investigators.

“The AHA is our partner, supporting the most cutting-edge research of our best and brightest trainees and faculty through grants,” said Doug Sawyer, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. “The AHA recognizes the importance of funding new ideas from new investigators.”

If you are unable to participate in the Heart Walk, there are other ways to help. VHVI will host a silent auction on Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the fifth floor of Medical Center East. All money raised will go to the AHA.

For more information on the silent auction, call Mary Royer at 936-7561. For more information on the Heart Walk, contact Ed Higgins at