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POV: No horses, but spirit and Jared

By BRADLEY L. SEXAUER

The writer is the vice president, strategy and market development at Saratoga Hospital, and a member of the Capital Region Advisory Board of the American Heart Association.

While most people make their annual trip to the track in the summer, for the seventh year in a row, there’s always one Saturday in October that finds me at the Saratoga Race Course. This year, it will be Saturday, Oct. 20, when I and 250 of my coworkers from Saratoga Hospital will participate in the North Country Heart Walk.

It’s strange to be at the track without the horses, but the crowd at the Heart Walk is just as enthusiastic as the summer spectators. And why wouldn’t they be? They’re cheering on improved heart health for themselves, their loved ones and our entire community. And this year, we’ll be joined by Jared from Subway, who will share his amazing story of weight loss and improved health.

The North Country Heart Walk raises funds to help the American Heart Association fight heart disease and stroke. When I talk about my work as a board member with the AHA, I always remind people that heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 4 killers in America. Think about what that means – do you live with the effects of heart disease or stroke? Do you know someone who does? (And if you don’t know someone with a dramatic story, you likely know someone on blood pressure or cholesterol medication). And, the hardest question to ask – do you know someone who lost his or her life to heart disease or stroke?

The Heart Walk is one way that the American Heart Association is looking to change that. We at Saratoga Hospital support the Heart Walk because we agree fully with the AHA’s mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. We work daily to improve our community’s health, one patient at a time. We start our investment in the community by investing in our own staff. We are proud to have earned the American Heart Association’s Fit Friendly designation, which recognizes our employee wellness programs. Much of heart disease is preventable, and we begin by offering our employees the tools to be healthy. Come the first Friday in February, we will add a special emphasis to women’s health by participating in National Wear Red Day.

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