More than 150 Long Beach Memorial patients, care team members and physicians joined forces with the Long Beach community at the American Heart Association’s Long Beach Heart Walk. Together, Long Beach Memorial team members raised more than $6,000 to help the American Heart Association’s mission of increasing knowledge of cardiovascular diseases and stroke and saving lives.
Cardiovascular disease and stroke peak as the number one and number four killers in the United States, claiming more than 865,000 American lives each year. The Long Beach Heart Walk helps to fund heart and stroke research, educational programs and advocacy efforts at the American Heart Association.
“We are always excited to team up with the American Heart Association,” says Gregory Thomas, M.D., MPH, medical director, MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Memorial. “At the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, we are dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of cardiovascular disease. We are extremely grateful for everything the American Heart Association has done in our communities and we are happy to see their presence back in Long Beach.”
The 5K walk/run at Rainbow Lagoon brought friends and families together to celebrate heart disease and stroke survivors, as well as to remember those that have lost their battles with heart disease. The walk also aims to encourage as many people as possible to pledge to live a healthier lifestyle.
One person that takes a healthier lifestyle to heart is the assistant unit manager from the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute cardiac rehabilitation – Joanne Morrison, RN. Cardiac rehabilitation is a comprehensive program designed to help those with heart conditions resume, develop and/or maintain an active, heart-healthy lifestyle. Morrison, with the help of her cardiac rehab team, encouraged 25 of her patients to join her heart walk team.
“In cardiac rehab, we teach our patients the fundamentals of a heart-healthy lifestyle – including walking,” says Joanne Morrison, RN, assistant unit manager, cardiac rehab, MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Memorial. “Since walking is an important part of our program, we wanted our patients to join us at the Long Beach Heart Walk to show everyone that you can recover from heart disease and make changes to lead a healthier lifestyle. It also was important for us to bring that awareness to the community."