Heart & Vascular Wellness Zone Raise Awareness

Posted Mar 1, 2013

The Heart & Vascular Wellness Zone hosted by the St. Louis Rams and Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center had a little bit of everything: Rams players interacting with participants, physicians to answer questions, heart-healthy food samples, and even a giant inflatable heart. And it was all put together to increase awareness about heart disease and provide heart-healthy education.

“Since February is Heart Month, we really wanted an event to reach out to the community about the importance of maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle,” Patti Crimmins Reda, RN, MSN, Heart and Vascular Center executive director said. “We started developing the event ideas last winter and it really was a team effort with multiple groups working together to make it a reality.”

The reality included stations set up throughout the Rams’ indoor training facility at the ContinuityX Training Center. Talking with physicians offered participants the opportunity to learn about heart conditions and the latest technology used to treat diseases. Other stations included samples of healthy snacks and exercise demonstrations. And in the middle of it all was the inflatable heart, large enough for attendees to walk through to get a better understanding of the body’s most vital organ. In addition to the educational aspect, the program featured a behind-the-scenes look at the Rams’ training facility, including tours of the locker room and training room.

The Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center saw this program as a beneficial opportunity for all involved.

“Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in this country,” Crimmins Reda said. “It’s important that our participants understand the many different things that they can do to minimize their chances of being hospitalized due to heart disease. At the same time, we wanted to let them know that where you get treated does make a difference.”

The physicians were not the only ones to whom participants wanted to speak. Rams offensive tackle Rodger Saffold and former Rams safety Aeneas Williams were in attendance to help promote the event and spent time interacting with fans.

With partners such as the Rams, Barnes-Jewish is hoping to bring more awareness to many of their programs and other endeavors. The two organizations partnered earlier this year for a Transplant Awareness Day and continued that relationship with the Heart & Vascular Wellness Zone.

“As an organization, we are all very proud of what we are able to provide the community with regards to the latest breakthroughs and technology, whether it is within our Heart & Vascular program, transplant program or our neurology and neurosurgery programs,” Crimmins Reda said.

In the midst of American Heart Month, the Rams and Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center worked together to take part in the effort of raising awareness. The program offered useful information for people’s well-being, but also provided a fun experience for all those involved.

“We hope we raised their awareness about the importance of a healthy heart,” Crimmins Reda said. “And if they have not already, people can start to make little changes to their lifestyles that can make a positive impact on their health.”