Heart Walk Celebrates 25 Years

Walkers in group danceThis past fall, VCU Health took part in the American Heart Association’s (AHA) 2018 Heart Walk from four different locations. More than 4,000 individuals participated in the various walks, which together raised more than $575,000 to support the AHA’s cardiovascular research and educational programs.

VCU Health was one of the sponsors of the event, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. “It was truly an honor to serve as chair of the Heart Walk this year,” said Melinda Hancock, VCU Health’s chief financial officer and senior executive vice president. “I am grateful to the many generous organizations and individuals that helped make these events so successful.”

Wearing gold tie-dyed shirts with the Pauley heart icon on the front, participants joined in the first-ever heart walk held at VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital on September 22 in South Hill, Va. Walkers made two laps around the hospital to complete the one-mile route. The event also included food and games, music, blood pressure checks, health information and an appearance by VCU Rams mascot Rodney the Ram.

On October 6, the Pauley Pumpers were among the 131 teams hitting the trails at the Innsbrook Pavilion in Glen Allen, Va. Participants chose between one-mile and 5K routes.

On the previous day, for the third year in a row, heart and stroke patients joined the walkers in solidarity from VCU Medical Center. The patients and their supporters made laps around the hallways at the medical center’s cardiovascular thoracic surgical step-down unit, as well as on the recovery unit floor for stroke patients—logging a total of 161 miles.

Finally, on October 27, VCU students took part in a one-mile route around the City of Richmond’s Monroe Park.

According to Hancock, “the heart walks are a fun way to raise funds for the AHA and at the same time, educate our community about preventing cardiovascular disease and stroke.”