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Join Metro Health at the Start! Heart Walk

Start! Heart Walk
Saturday, September 13th
Riverside Park (616) 482-1526
Learn how to take part!


Metro Health has joined the American Heart Association as the Inspire Change sponsor for its Start! initiative in West Michigan. This initiative will educate area residents about heart disease, stroke and ways to lower their risk from these diseases which account for about 35 percent of all deaths in the area.

“Our partnership is needed because heart disease is so formidable, especially in Michigan,” said Mike Faas, president and CEO, Metro Health. “Metro Health is breaking new ground in health care and we are happy to join this new initiative with the American Heart Association.”

The Start! initiative is a new multi-faceted program for the American Heart Association through which tools are provided to businesses and individuals to get America walking for health. It is being integrated into the Heart Walks that have taken place for a number of years in the area. Under this initiative there is also a year-round walking program that is open to any area resident; a Start! Fit-Friendly Company program which awards companies that have worked within their system to integrate healthy behaviors; and a Lifestyle Change Award that acknowledges residents who have made outstanding changes in their lifestyle. The Start! Heart Walk will be held in the fall of 2008. National Start! Walking Day is April 16.

The focus of Start! is simple – Walk more. Eat well. Live Longer. Walking is good medicine for the heart. In fact it’s great medicine. Studies show that for every one hour of regular, vigorous exercise, like brisk walking, a person can gain two more hours of life expectancy.

“The American Heart Association is pleased to have a partner like Metro Health to help communicate the important messages of this initiative,” said K. Kay Ulwelling, the West Michigan regional vice president of the American Heart Association’s Midwest Affiliate. “This commitment shows great leadership and dedication to the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association.”

For more information on this Start!, call (616) 285-1888 or log onto

Start! Heart Walk Kickoff


About the American Heart Association

Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association today is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to reducing disability and death from cardiovascular diseases and stroke. These diseases, America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers, claim more than 910,000 lives a year. In fiscal year 2004-05 the association invested over $473 million in research, professional and public education, advocacy and community service programs to help all Americans live longer, healthier lives. To learn more, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit


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