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"I Heart Augustana" employee wellness campaign

January  27, 2012

On Thursday, Feb. 2, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Augustana employees will do more than learn about heart health. In the Hanson Hall of Science (726 35th St.), employees can step into the college’s cadaver lab and compare a healthy human heart with a diseased heart and a heart with bypasses, as part of a wellness campaign titled “I Heart Augustana.”

Prior to seeing the hearts, employees will learn about heart health from local physician Dr. Nathan Fierce, Augustana Class of 2000, and Dr. Darrin Good, Class of 1987 and a faculty member in Augustana’s biology department. Afterward, employees will be encouraged to take a free, online heart screening—HeartAware—sponsored by the Trinity Regional Health System.

To describe the value of the event, Steve Gottcent, from Augustana’s human resources department and wellness committee, used the expression “a picture is worth a thousand words,” adding, “We can talk about heart health all day long, but for many people it is a visual piece that will finally drive this important truth home.”

Gottcent added, “When employees step into the cadaver lab and compare a healthy heart with a diseased heart, the reality of risk and wellness will become clear.”

This event kicks off a month of heart-related programming planned by the Augustana Wellness Committee in partnership with Trinity Regional Health System. Throughout the month, employees will be encouraged to take part in programming targeted at heart health, identifying potential warning signs of heart-related issues and understanding the value of living a healthier lifestyle. Among other events planned, local cardiologist Dr. Sanjeev Puri will be on campus on Friday, Feb. 10, to share recent heart research findings.

February is American Heart Month. Sponsored by the American Heart Association, Heart Month is billed as a time to battle cardiovascular disease and educate Americans on what we can do to live heart-healthy lives. According to www.healthfinder.gov, heart disease, including stroke, is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.

The “I Heart Augustana” campaign directly ties to the college’s strategic plan and efforts to focus on better supporting the college’s employee base. “These events make a statement that we care deeply about the health of our friends and co-workers at Augustana,” Dr. Good said. “The wellness committee hopes that the unique and poignant event on Feb. 2 motives everyone in our community to make a commitment to living a healthy, long life.”

This is not the first time that Trinity and Augustana College have partnered together. In September 2005, radiography students from the Trinity College of Nursing and Health Sciences worked with Augustana geology students to use the hospital’s X-ray equipment to take an intimate look at dinosaur fossils. In May 2008, Trinity College partnered with Augustana biology professors on the development of an accelerated bachelor’s of science in nursing degree program, and in December 2011, Trinity lent Augustana students suture needle holders, surgical scissors and tissue forceps for a suturing seminar.

Keri Rursch
Director of Public Relations
(309) 794-7721
kerirursch@augustana.edu