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American Heart Association, Willis-Knighton Health System Join Forces to Make Northwest Louisiana Healthier

11/21/2013

The American Heart Association’s Northwest Louisiana division (AHA) and Willis-Knighton Health System have announced a partnership to promote the AHA’s “My Heart. My Life.” health movement. This sponsorship establishes Willis-Knighton Health System as a leader focused on improvements in cardiovascular health in northwest Louisiana.

“Partnering with the American Heart Association on the ‘My Heart. My Life.’ movement is really an opportunity to lead by example when it comes to creating a culture of physical activity and wellness in the community,” said Holly Winterrowd, group exercise coordinator for WK Fitness & Wellness Centers. “Louisiana has been cited in recent years as a state where people have significant risk for cardiovascular disease, and we need to do what we can to prevent it as well as treat it.”

“My Heart. My Life.” is a comprehensive new health, wellness and fitness platform to empower Americans to get healthier. It is an important component of the American Heart Association’s sweeping 20-year goal: to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent and to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent by the year 2020.

This partnership will address a serious health crisis. Less than 1 percent of the population meets the American Heart Association criteria for ideal cardiovascular health. Yet, in an American Heart Association survey, 39 percent of the population rated themselves as being in ideal health. A key goal of “My Heart. My Life.” is to increase the number of people who understand the link between their health and their risk of heart disease and stroke.

“We know that poor lifestyle habits, environment, and genetics are major contributors to the current epidemic of heart disease and stroke, the nation’s number one and number four killers, respectively,” Willis-Knighton Heart Institute Director Kathy Walker said. “We hope to inform people about the actions they need to take to improve the health of their families and communities.”

This year, Willis-Knighton Health System has plans to make an impact in our community through the following programs: 

  • Walking Path: The American Heart Association and Willis-Knighton will establish walking paths (accessible to the public) at its campuses.
  • Community Education: Seminars, open to the public, and designed to address major heart health issues will offer information and providing tools to make positive changes. 
  • NWLA Heart Walk: The noncompetitive, three-mile walk on November 16 raises funds to support heart disease and stroke research and educational programs in northwest Louisiana.

“My Heart. My Life.” is sponsored nationally by SUBWAY® and locally by Willis-Knighton Health System in northwest Louisiana. For more information on heart disease visit the Willis-Knighton Health Library.

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