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Health Center Today, October 29, 2010

Health Center Team Has a Heart

By Chris Kaminski

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Despite a traffic jam that extended for miles on I-84, thousands of individuals participated at the Start! Heart Walk on Saturday, October 23. Among the participants were approximately 50 UConn Health Center faculty, staff, family, friends, and heart and stroke survivors who walked at the event in Bushnell Park, Hartford. The walk is the American Heart Association's premiere event for raising funds to save lives from this country's No. 1 and No. 3 killers - heart disease and stroke. The money that is raised is used to fund research, education and advocacy efforts of the American Heart Association.

“I believe in the cause because so many individuals are affected by cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association is a great organization and it funds many research projects here at the Health Center,” says Mark Dombrofski, captain of the Hearts of Finance team. The Hearts of Finance team was one of the largest represented at the event. UConn Health Center teams raised over $5000 to support the cause.

“The funds raised at the Start! Heart Walk allows the American Heart Association to put up-to-the-minute research into doctors’ hands so they can better prevent and treat heart disease among patients,” says Dr. Bruce Liang, director of the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center.

Recently, the Calhoun Cardiology Center received the Get With The Guidelines® Silver Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that the Health Center has reached an aggressive goal of treating heart failure patients for at least 12 consecutive months with 85 percent compliance to core standard levels of care outlined by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology secondary prevention guidelines for heart failure patients. The Calhoun Cardiology Center has also received recognition from both the Aetna Insurance Company and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield for cardiovascular care, having been the recipient of the Aexcel® and Blue Distinction® awards.

In 2009, the UConn Health Center was recognized by the American Heart Association as a Start Fit Friendly Company receiving the Gold Achievement Award.