Members of the GW Hospital helped raise more than $50,000 for the Greater Washington Region’s 15th annual American Heart Association Start! Heart Walk held at Nationals Park Saturday.
The hospital competed with 30 other D.C. schools and companies to raise funds for research as part of the three mile walk to promote heart disease and stroke awareness.
A total of $1,384,266 has been raised by the D.C.-area Heart Walk, short of the goal of $2,010,000 for the region.
Participants included Howard University, Georgetown University, Deloitte & Touche, Aetna, MT&T bank and others.
More than 40 GW Hospital employees joined in the walk Saturday, and more than 250 members of the hospital’s team contributed to the fundraising.
Heather Oldham, the communications manager for the hospital, said inactivity is a leading cause of heart disease, which is treated at GW Hospital.
“We certainly treat a lot of cardiac patients and so we see firsthand the effects of cardiovascular disease and stroke on peoples’ lives,” Oldham said.”So we wanted to rally our employees around a great cause and hopefully make a difference in the fighting of heart disease and stroke.”
Richard Davis, the chief financial officer at the hospital, said as of Nov. 1 the team had donated $21,000 to the cause, but the team was able to increase that during the week.
“As of this morning we have reached our goal of $50,000,” Davis said Saturday.
The AHA is a national organization that is committed to promoting cardiovascular wellness and heart attack prevention. It provides funding for research to help eliminate deaths related to heart disease and stroke.
Some of the walkers said they participated to pay respect to their loved ones that passed away from heart attacks and heart disease.
“My mother died 15 years ago and my father died five years ago, both from heart disease,” said Jackie Davenport, a walker for GW Hospital.
“It has definitely made me stronger,” she said. “Even though I am not in the best shape I am walking for them.”
Justin Leeson, a sophomore from Georgetown University said he was walking for his grandfather who died of heart disease.
“I am hoping to raise awareness of this disease,” Leeson said.