September 12, 2008

Teambuilding key to success of upcoming Heart Walk

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Teambuilding key to success of upcoming Heart Walk

The American Heart Association (AHA) Start! Heart Walk is just two weeks away, but there's still time to join a Vanderbilt team and make a contribution.

The AHA has made it easy for Vanderbilt 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 on Sept. 23. Representatives from the AHA will collect cash and checks from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in conference room 2 of the Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute (VHVI), located on the fifth floor of Medical Center East.

The Heart Walk will take place Saturday, Sept. 27. The day gets started 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.

“The Heart Walk is important to Vanderbilt on several levels,” said Jeff Samz, CEO of VHVI and 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 $400,000 toward Nashville's target of $1.6 million. Vanderbilt has raised about $300,000 so far.

Last year, Vanderbilt’s was the fifth largest fundraiser in the country and the largest health care fundraiser.

“Vanderbilt has a great chance of exceeding the amount raised last year,” said Kelley Tune, AHA vice-president of the Heart Walk.

“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, C. Wright Pinson, M.D., associate vice chancellor for Clinical Affairs. “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., interim director 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 Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in conference room 1 and 2 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