by Kaitlyn McConnell, CoxHealth & Ozarks Alive
One in four people die from heart disease, making it the number one killer of men and women. Local patients battling the disease, however, will get some support this month through Heroes for Healthy Hearts, the CoxHealth Foundation’s initiative to raise funds for those who need it most.
Throughout the month of February, individuals can purchase a $2 paper heart or $25 Big Hero Heart, which will be displayed at the Wheeler Heart and Vascular Center in Springfield, and at Cardiac Services locations on other CoxHealth campuses. The community is invited to support the campaign by purchasing hearts at various locations throughout the health system or online on the CoxHealth Foundation’s website.
All of the money raised will stay in southwest Missouri to help cardiac patients – after events such as heart attacks – who need assistance paying their medical expenses. This can include medical bills for care, rehabilitation, medications and more.
“Heart disease is a battle many people in our community have to fight,” says Lisa Alexander, president of the CoxHealth Foundation. “Completing cardiac rehab greatly increases one’s chance of survival, which is why we’re very happy about helping our patients increase their quality of life thanks to this program.”
Other events during the month of February include a “red-out” day which encourages everyone to wear red for awareness.
Additionally, a chili cook-off will also be held Feb. 20, along with a silent auction in Foster Auditorium at Cox South. The community is invited to attend the Heart-Burn Brigade Chili Cook-off from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and a $5 ticket gets each attendee a bowl of chili, as well as up to three samples from which they can vote for their favorite.