By Taryn Mondiello and Frances Trosa, Pharm. D. Candidates c/o 2015
On Saturday, April 13th, there was a Red Storm on campus. This Red Storm, however, was probably not the one you are thinking about. While the people were in fact wearing red, they were actually participants of the APhA-ASP’s event “Run for the Health of It”. This symbolic color was worn to show their support for the fight against cardiovascular disease, and to raise money to benefit the American Heart Association (AHA).
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is currently the number one killer of Americans. About 800,000 people die of CVD in the United States every year, and each minute someone in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event1.These startling facts published by the CDC indicate that CVD is a prevalent and life threatening epidemic. “Run for the Health of It” was therefore held to promote advocacy and awareness of cardiovascular health. There were a total of 42 participants, including St. John’s students, faculty, friends, and family. The participants completed a 2.13 mile course as walkers or a 4.26 mile course as runners around the St. John’s University Queens campus. When everyone completed the course, they gathered on the lawn adjacent to Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. People broke up into teams and competed in some friendly relay races, including a 3 legged race and a wheelbarrow race. During this time, participants also got the opportunity to buy raffle tickets for heart healthy prizes, all proceeds benefitting the AHA. Prizes were also distributed to the first place runner, first place walker, and the “best dressed” participant for wearing the most red. To conclude the event, APhA-ASP provided information and pamphlets that promoted heart health and a healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise, smoking cessation, and regular contact with doctors and pharmacists. Participants were encouraged to take this information and pass it onto others, as to promote cardiovascular health and awareness.
Taylor Lucchesi, a Pharm. D. Candidate c/o 2014 at St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Operation Heart Coordinator of the Patient Care Project Team for APhA-ASP was the primary organizer of “Run for the Health of It”. In order to make this event possible, Taylor received a grant from Target for the second year in a row. She commented, “Thanks to the generosity of Target, APhA-ASP was given an incredible opportunity to get the community physically active for such an amazing cause as the AHA! I want to extend the utmost gratitude to Target for their continuing support”
Taylor and the student chapter of APhA achieved great success in the second annual “Run for the Health of It”. They will be donating about $500, proceeds that were raised from entry into the walk/run and raffles, to the American Heart Association. Upon completion of the fundraiser, Taylor expressed her excitement staying, “I am so pleased to hear such wonderful feedback from participants! A successful event is always evidenced by increased participants, and this year we saw a twofold increase, a testament to an enjoyable experience.”
Make sure to look out for details regarding the Third Annual “Walk for the Health of It” in April 2014!
- CDC. Million Hearts™: strategies to reduce the prevalence of leading cardiovascular disease risk factors. United States, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 2011;60(36):1248–51.