Is “Healthy Hearts On The Move” happening again this year?

Yes!  Saturday March 5th.  There is not a better day of the year to explore ways you can improve your heart health, enjoy more energy, and prevent costly medical care.  March 5th will be our fourth annual “Healthy Hearts on the Move” event and each one has been bigger, better attended, and more robust than the year before.  This year’s event has many returning popular features (free health screenings, interactive fitness demos, massage, informational booths, healthy snacks, etc.) as well as a wonderful new partnership with Northwestern Counseling & Support Services and Building Bright Futures to expand activities at the event for children and young families!  With this great collaboration, this promises to be a fun, educational, valuable visit which is not to be missed! 

To help guide you through all of the exciting aspects of Healthy Hearts, each attendee will be given a passport.  As you move from area to area, having screenings, trying new things, learning new insights, sampling delicious treats, and enjoying fun activities, you will collect stamps in your passport for each step on this journey towards improved heart health.  To add a bit of excitement to the journey, one lucky attendee’s completed passport will win them our grand prize – a $300 gift certificate to Jay Peak good for any offering including the Pump House water park, skiing, golf, hotel accommodations, and more!  A chance at this incredible prize alone makes stopping and joining in worth it!

This year’s event will be held at the St. Albans City School (located at 29 Bellows Street in St. Albans) and will run from 9am to Noon.  Visitors will use the main entrance and activities will be held in the Library, the cafeteria, both gymnasiums, and elsewhere! Event staff will be on hand to help you with your passport and finding each activity of interest. And remember, parking is free and convenient! 

Why the emphasis on heart health?  It is a significant health concern in our local community.  Two of the leading risk factors for heart disease, obesity and smoking, rank among the top three priorities identified in the Community Health Needs Assessment.  Heart disease and other related factors (diabetes, cholesterol levels, etc.) also rank among the identified priorities.  Fortunately, there are things each of us can do right now to improve our heart health and help prevent the costly impacts of these conditions.  We created “Healthy Hearts On The Move” to highlight these preventive steps.  The event also offers the opportunity to meet many of the staff who provide care, coaching, and rehabilitation relating to your heart, including: Northwestern Cardiology, our primary care practices, Northwestern Lifestyle Medicine, our Emergency Department, Northwestern Cardiac Rehabilitation, RiseVT, and more. 

As part of February being National Heart Month, NMC has been very active in the Go Red for Women campaigns both at the State level to help support the important work of the American Heart Association and here locally as well.  So many of our staff dressed in red on February 5th to raise awareness of heart disease in women!  In addition, our newborns are wearing red this month – sporting delightful little red hats to raise awareness of heart defects in infants (which occur in 1 of every 125 babies).  Heart Month comes once a year and Healthy Hearts is a one day event, but our commitment to improving heart health in our community continues year round. 

Good heart health is a key to living a long, enjoyable, productive life.  By embracing healthy habits (being more physically active, having your preventive screenings, eating better, and ending tobacco use), you can put yourself on a path towards better heart health.  Little changes have big impacts and you can take another step on that path by attending Healthy Hearts On The Move on Saturday, March 5, from 9am to Noon at St. Albans City School.  Please join us, it promises to be a wonderful event!

— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer