September 13, 2002

VUMC urges Heart Walk participation

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Norman Urmy is overseeing Vanderbilt’s participation in the Heart Walk as company captain. Last year Vanderbilt had 800 walkers. Urmy is determined to raise the number to 1,000 walkers this year. (photo by Dana Johnson)

VUMC urges Heart Walk participation

Hoping to build on past success, Vanderbilt team captains for the 2002 American Heart Association Heart Walk got a rousing send-off from two of the Medical Center’s top leaders at a kick-off event last week.

Citing the event as one of Vanderbilt’s commitments to the community and an opportunity to showcase the “best place around for heart care,” Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor for Health Affairs, stressed the importance of VUMC employees getting involved in the upcoming American Heart Association (AHA) Heart Walk.

“This is our fifth year to host the event in the Middle Tennessee area,” Jacobson said. “It’s an excellent opportunity to showcase what we know as the best place for heart care, and that’s the Page-Campbell Heart Institute.”

Last year Vanderbilt raised more funds through its Heart Walk teams than any other health care company in America and became the first company in the Southeast to break the $100,000 fund-raising mark. The event raises money for heart disease and stroke research, public and professional education and community service programs. The Heart Walk also raises public awareness about heart disease and stroke as well as the heart-healthy benefits of walking. Much of the money raised supports heart disease and stroke research conducted at VUMC.

The 2002 event, which marks the 10th anniversary of the Nashville walk, will be held on Oct. 20 on the Vanderbilt campus and consists of a two- or four-mile route. It typically draws more than 5,000 walkers from across Middle Tennessee.

VUMC leaders hope to have more than 100 Vanderbilt teams with at least 10 walkers per team. The 2001 Nashville American Heart Walk (the sixth largest walk in the country) involved more than 8,000 participants and raised more than $675,000 to support the American Heart Association.

Norman Urmy, executive vice president for Clinical Affairs and CEO of Vanderbilt University Hospital, is overseeing Vanderbilt’s participation as company captain.

“Last year we had 800 Vandy walkers,” he said. “This year we want more than 1,000.”

He said the Vanderbilt team that raises the most money, has the most walkers, or has the most money raised per team member would receive $1,000 for their department to use.

“I’m really pleased to add my support to this event and to encourage all areas of the Medical Center to get on board,” he said.

The premier incentive for walkers includes a four-day, three-night cruise for two for anyone who raises more than $1,000.

“We have some really great incentives for people to get excited and get involved,” Urmy explained.

For more information, contact Jan Cotton (3-1156) or Jill Forbert (6-1368).