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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Stony Brook Heart Walk

As part of the October inauguration festivities, Stony Brook University Medical Center partnered with the American Heart Association as a corporate sponsor for the Long Island Start! Heart Walk, also known the Suffolk County Heart Walk, hosted by Stony Brook University. The event which was held in Suffolk County for the first time in eight years was an active effort to make individuals realize the importance the exercise in combating cardiovascular diseases.

The Heart Walk, which took place on Sunday, October 25, is a 5K walk around the campus, which included’ live music, give-a-ways and an informational health fair. The registrants for the walk were divided into teams such as Team Ortho and Team Periodontal Heart in order to raise funds along with awareness for a great cause. This year’s Heart Walk even featured the first ever Paws for a Cause Start! Dog Walk, where numerous dogs of various shapes and sizes came out with their enthusiastic owners while spreading awareness about heart disease.

In Long Island alone, more than 9,600 people die every year from what is often seen as a silent killer. Through continued funding from programs such as the Heart Walk, the American Heart Association continues to make important strides in funding research to battle heart disease and stroke, the nation’s number one and number three killers.

Over 1,000 individuals came out to support the cause, which included walkers, kids, volunteers, staff, and faculty, along with a few furry friends. Ruth Tanzler, the Captain of the Periodontal Heart Team and a Cardiac nurse in Stony Brook University Hospital, also came out to support the Heart Walk and credits the sunny weather, along with people’s ‘genuine desire to make a lifestyle change’ as the reason for a high turnout on a Sunday morning. Tanzler, whose team alone raised over a $1,000, was in high spirits as she engaged in a fun aerobic work-out led by our very own, Wolfie. The Stony Brook University Mascot entertained kids and adults alike during the walk and enthusiastically nodded yes when questioned whether he was happy to be part of this event.

This year’s event featured SBUMC’s Dr. Steven L. Strongwater, CEO, who served as the Chair of the Walk along with Co-Vice Chairs, Dr. Todd Rosengart and Dr. David Brown of the Heart Center. The walk which was presented nationally by Subway, Healthy Choice and AstraZeneca, who also donated healthy refreshments for the walkers and sponsored locally by Winthrop University Hospital, publicized heavily to draw out thousands of people from across Long Island, including many survivors and loved ones of heart diseases and stroke.

For M.T. Stein, a faculty in Stony Brook University, the Heart Walk represented a way to remember his father who passed away recently due to heart disease. Stein, who took a day off to come show his support for the walk claimed how the Long Island Start! is a great way to spread awareness and hope to many individuals who have lost a loved one in the battle against cardiovascular diseases. The 63 year old, even stated that he received the strength to jog this event through the memory of his father.

Even the fifth President of Stony Brook University, Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., MD, came out to support the great cause. Dressed up in his sneakers and sweatshirt, the president led the pack as he crossed the finish line. According to him, ‘as a president and a physician, it is important for me to see an increased awareness among the public regarding many health maladies especially heart disease and the potential risks associated with it.’ He mentioned that through educating the public by events like the heart walk, we are paving a future of healthy individuals. President Stanley also stated that ‘Stony Brook University’s involvement in hosting the event was a step in building future relations with the community and working hand in hand with them in order to combat any crisis.’

The Long Island Start! Heart Walk succeeded in its goal to raise awareness about the growing epidemic of heart disease as thousands of individuals came to SBU, along with raising funds to combat this crisis. Everyone from kids, to the elderly to our fury friends seemed to enjoy the event which was under great security led by Res. Life, RSP, CERT, and University Police who made sure that everything went smoothly from start to finish.

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