AHA and NOMC champion workplace wellness

AHA American Heart Association walking
AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION / Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 10:44 AM.

FORT WALTON BEACH — North Okaloosa Medical Center CEO and 2013 American Heart Association Heart Walk chairman David Fuller met with Okaloosa and Walton county executives March 12 at Northwest Florida State College to show numerous ways that partnership with the American Heart Association, or AHA, can benefit their businesses and employees.

Attendees received information that they can use to get their AHA partnership started. Highlights included National Walking Day, the annual Okaloosa Walton Heart Walk and the importance of workplace wellness initiatives. Companies taking part in workplace wellness efforts can apply to be a Fit Friendly Company and receive this designation.

"The message presented during the 2013 Okaloosa Walton Health Walk Executive Breakfast was on point and well-articulated,” Inger Alderfer, AHA Greater Southwest Affiliate regional director, said. “The message of wellness and heart health was clear and area employers were challenged to embrace their role as a partner in heart and health care for their employees and staff."

A personal look

A highlight was the testimony of heart patient Anne Spies, who was 41 years old when she had the first of two heart attacks.

"I knew it couldn’t be my heart because I didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, exercised regularly and had no family history of heart disease," she said.

Women who consider themselves healthy often misdiagnose or ignore heart attack symptoms because they don’t think it can happen to them, according to the AHA.

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