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SVMHS Celebrates Heart Month

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Karina Rusk (831) 759-1843


HeartSALINAS, CA, January 30, 2014 - Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) is encouraging the community to celebrate February Heart Month by making simple changes to live a longer and healthier life. SVMHS is offering a number of free community events and also knows every call to action starts at home. Staff and physicians at SVMHS are taking part in a number of activities designed to not only improve heart health on an individual basis but also serve as inspiration to patients and the community.

SVMHS employee Steve Bajari took one action during Heart Month 2013 that has changed his life and been an integral part of Steve losing 30 pounds. “I gave up soda,” says Steve. “I went from being a six can a day coke person to reaching for lower calorie drinks. It has made all the difference. I lost weight, feel better and my heart healthy numbers like cholesterol and blood pressure have improved.”

Every team member at SVMHS is encouraged to start out the month by taking advantage of free employee health screenings on campus. Registered nurses measure weight, body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure and take a glucose reading. The health screenings will be offered to employees again at the end of the month to track improvement. Community members wanting to track their own heart healthy numbers can utilize the SVMHS free mobile app available in the app store by searching Salinas Valley Memorial. Learn more at

Thousands of people countywide including SVMHS employees will also be taking part in the SVMHS Exercise Challenge. The Exercise Challenge asks people to exercise for at least 90 minutes a week for ten weeks. SVMHS is helping employees stick to that goal by promoting “28 miles in 28 days” during the month of February. Community members may notice employees circling the hospital during group walks to reach their goals. In addition to improving heart health, participating employees are eligible to win prizes. Anyone can set their own goal during February to walk “28 miles in 28 days” and can get their workplace or organization signed up to enroll in the Exercise Challenge. Learn more at

February Heart Month 2014 includes the launch of the SVMHS popular community forum Ask the Experts. The first panel discussion will take place at the National Steinbeck Center on February 12 and will focus on heart health including such topics as “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and “Atrial fibrillation.” The Ask the Experts series will continue throughout the year with other free community events and topics. You can find more information about the lecture series at

SVMHS earned the 2013 Joint Commission Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for Heart Attack and Heart Failure and is the only Accredited Chest Pain Center in Monterey County. You can find more information about heart health and heart disease prevention at Join SVMHS and the employees at SVMHS as we celebrate Heart Month through education, participation and action to improve our community’s heart health.

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