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Legislators and public participate in Heart Health Day

Release Date: February 11, 2009
Contact: Carol Schriber, 919-733-9190

RALEIGH — The 7th Legislative Heart Health Day was held today at the N.C. General Assembly. Organized by the Justus-Warren Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force, the event drew 36 exhibitors from across North Carolina to present information on cardiovascular and related chronic illnesses and risk factors. Health risk screenings, educational materials, and "Ask the Doctor" sessions were provided by hospitals, local health departments, and advocacy organizations for legislators, legislative staff, and the public.

The theme of this year's Legislative Heart Health Day was "Take the Next Steps..." Whiteboards were made available for visitors and dignitaries to write down the name of a loved one who had been the victim of heart disease or stroke, and one thing that they were willing to do to honor the memory of their loved one. Entries ranged from the simple and personal, such as "I will walk more," to broader promises to support relevant legislation or support advocacy efforts for heart disease and stroke.

At the opening ceremony, Sen. William Purcell, who chairs the task force, presented Lt. Governor Walter Dalton and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Lanier Cansler with recommendations from the task force’s Stroke Advisory Committee to the legislature for 2009-2010.

The Lt. Gov., legislators and DHHS officials spoke at the ceremony, emphasizing the need to continue programs for preventing and managing heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in North Carolina. While North Carolina's death rate from these preventable diseases has been dropping faster than the national average, the death rate from both remains unacceptably high.  Two women who had survived heart attacks also spoke, highlighting the fact that heart disease is the number-one killer of women in this state.

Legislative Heart Health Day was supported by Subway Corporation, which provided a heart-healthy lunch for all visitors and exhibitors, and by Sanofi-Aventis, which provided breakfast for volunteers. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, an important partner organization, arranged informational visits with legislators by "Go Red" volunteers.

To learn more about the signs and symptoms of heart disease and stroke and how to prevent these diseases, and to find resources for survivors, visit,, and 


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