Concordia Raises Awareness for American Heart Association – News Release

OKLAHOMA CITY – To promote awareness about a disease responsible for nearly 40 percent of Oklahoma City area deaths each year, a group of Concordia Life Plan Community residents are working through the American Heart Association to provide cardiovascular disease survivors with 98 hand-knitted red hats, and to distribute more than 100 handmade red awareness bracelets.

Concordia Raises Awareness for AHA

Concordia resident Marilyn Groch helps knit hats to distribute during Heart Month.

Timed with Heart Month in February, this outreach supports the association’s mission to build healthier lives through education, support and advocacy. The association’s Executive Director Debbie Hite Stewart said hats will be given to cardiovascular disease survivors participating Feb. 11 in the Southeastern Oklahoma Heart Walk, and the bracelets shared with advocates throughout the month.

“We are living in the state with the nation’s third-highest death rate from cardiovascular disease — awareness is one of the most powerful tools we have to fight it,” Stewart said. “We rely on volunteers like those at Concordia Life Care Community to help us spread the word about risk factors for heart attack and stroke, and lifestyle changes we can make to protect ourselves and our families. We are so grateful for the many hours Concordia residents spent knitting the red hats that will keep survivors warm as they walk this month, and weaving the red bracelets that will spark conversation about awareness and prevention.”

In addition to efforts by residents to raise awareness, Concordia will host a free public lecture, “Wellness through Wisdom: Preventing Strokes and Improving Health”, presented by Richard Vertrees Smith, medical director for the Mercy Oklahoma City Neuroscience Institute and for the Mercy Comprehensive Stroke Center. On Wednesday, February 15 at 2 p.m., residents and community members can attend to learn more about factors contributing to cardiovascular disease, and equip themselves with lifesaving health tips to prevent strokes and improve health. To RSVP for Dr. Smith’s lecture, call (405) 720-7200.

Concordia Helps Raise Awareness for AHA

Concordia residents pictured with American Heart Association Executive Director Debbie Hite Stewart holding hand-knitted red hats for cardiovascular disease survivors (From left to right– Cora Byers, Marilyn Groh, Joan Quatro, Debbie Hite Stewart and Norma Schafer).

“Strokes are among the leading causes of death and disability in older adults, a fact that some in our community have unfortunately experienced firsthand,” said Danny Eischen, Executive Director at Concordia. “Heart Month is an important opportunity for us to engage the community through education, thanks to Dr. Smith and Mercy Hospital, and through our relationship with the American Heart Association. We are also extremely proud to have an active, passionate group of residents who have joyfully given their time this past year to further that awareness.”

For media inquiries, contact Mary Ellen Kilpatrick, or 405-715-3232.

About Concordia Life Care Community

Set on about 15 acres in Oklahoma City, Concordia is a Life Care community where one can live independently, and be guaranteed access to assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing or long-term care should the need ever arise. Here, residents embrace life, stay fit, enjoy chef-prepared cuisine, grow intellectually and engage in meaningful activities. Concordia is a nonprofit organization committed to upholding Christian values by serving the community through programs including free Wellness on Wheels clinics, its DME/furniture donation program and mobile meals and more.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call our Oklahoma City office at 405-415-3030. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to view the Oklahoman story