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Close to Your Heart

By Deanna McGill | Photography by Lori Sparkman Photography | Makeup by Adrianne Brooks with Whiplash | Tuxedo from Maurine’s Tuxedos and Suits | Shot on location at National Park Medical Center

   Heart disease affects nearly half of all Americans. For the Tucker family, this statistic is accurate. At the age of 20 years old, Stephanie Tucker lost her father to cardiovascular disease. Through this life-changing experience, her interest and advocacy for heart health began. Along with her husband James, the couple serves the Hot Springs community as healthcare providers – James as a bariatric surgeon at National Park Medical Center and Stephanie as a specialty representative for Pfizer in cardiovascular therapies. Committed to supporting those fighting this disease, the Tuckers work closely with the American Heart Association. They will welcome guests to Hot Spring Heart Ball later this month.   

   Inspired by the tenacity of their community, the Tuckers recognize the impact that American Heart Association ambassadors can have in the Hot Springs community – sharing important lifestyle choices that prevent cardiovascular disease. “We feel strongly that instilling healthy habits at a young age can help spread the word about how we need to take charge of our own health,” explains Stephanie. Through education and development programs, the American Heart Association also serves as a crucial resource for those suffering from heart disease. With this shared vision for a healthier future and a heartfelt devotion for the organization, Stephanie and James are ideal chairmen for this year’s ball.

   American Heart Association Marketing Director Sharon Lanier shares, “Before the American Heart Association, heart disease was considered a death sentence. The research aided by the association has helped contribute to so many advances including CPR techniques, the first artificial heart valve and the first pacemaker.” While focused on the day-to-day treatment of the disease, the organization considers prevention an important component of continued mission fulfillment work. Initiatives include fighting the teen vaping epidemic and precision medicine – treatments based on an individual’s genetics, environment and lifestyle. Now, change is more achievable with individualized, realistic care options.

   It’s civic leaders, like the Tuckers, that support the Hot Springs Heart Ball – the largest gala in the Spa City – and create funding for American Heart Association research + development. Because so many families are faced with heart disease, the ball’s theme Close to Your Heart offers empathy as well as hope. This glamorous, winter wonderland will feature live music, a father-daughter Sweethearts performance, followed by an all-out party with DJ Hollywood. James emphasizes, “The uniqueness of having 33 Sweethearts dedicated to learning about cardiovascular health during their year of service brings great potential for the community as they become advocates for their families and friends.”

   While the evening celebrates the success and achievements of the American Heart Association, the Heart Ball has a lasting impression long after the dance floor is cleared. Proceeds from the event support continued mission fulfillment work and efforts to add more years to the lives of those in the Hot Springs community and more life into every year. 

Inviting Arkansas

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