Photography by Lori Sparkman Photography
The American Heart Association works tirelessly to improve heart health in Arkansas, and in Hot Springs it’s a lot of fun for everyone involved. Each year, the Hot Springs Heart Ball brings awareness as well as funds to the fight against heart disease. It’s also a celebration of the hard work in the Hot Springs community to address heart disease and encourage life-style initiatives.
American Heart Association Regional Marketing Communications Director Cyd King shares startling statistics and notes the most effective and timely response can save lives. “Each year, more than 350,000 people suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the United States. Only about 10 percent of those people survive. This year, the American Heart Association is asking the public to Be the Beat by making sure at least one person in every household knows hands-only CPR.”
Heart Ball Co-Chairman and CHI St. Vincent: Hot Springs President Dr. Doug Ross realizes the urgency. “As an emergency medical physician, I’ve been on the front line against heart disease, and I’ve seen the devastating effects it has had on my patients and their families. It’s important that we turn the tide,” Dr. Ross elaborates. Doug and his wife Jenny along with National Park Medical Center – AR Market CEO Scott Smith and his wife Angela will welcome friends and patrons to the Heart Ball later this month.
Congruent with the Be the Beat initiative, the Heart Ball will showcase the importance of teaching and knowing hands-only CPR. As presenting sponsors, CHI St. Vincent and National Park Medical Center will provide CPR in Schools Training Kits for the American Heart Association to implement into the curriculum of several Garland County schools: Hot Springs, Lakeside, Lake Hamilton, Cutter Morning Star, Fountain Lake, Mountain Pine and Jessieville. With these kits, students can practice CPR skills and be better prepared to save a life. “The American Heart Association wants all students and educators to learn CPR to create a generation of ‘heart-savers’ prepared to act in an emergency,” Cyd explains. “Each CPR in Schools Training Kit contains everything needed to train 10 to 20 people at once. Arkansas is one of many states in the country that require CPR training before high school graduation.”
Dr. Ross believes the partnership between these two Hot Springs institutions reflects a vision for a healthier landscape in the community and state. “I’m really looking forward to sharing this responsibility across both hospitals. Our fight against heart disease does not happen in isolation, and partnering is a good example of that teamwork.”
Another highlight of the evening is the formal presentation of the Hot Springs Sweethearts. This program provides a unique opportunity for high school sophomores to participate in a comprehensive program designed to teach heart-healthy initiatives and cultivate civic responsibility with time devoted to the local hospitals. Dr. Ross notes this offers a unique opportunity cultivate an interest in the medical profession. “Not only do these young ladies learn about heart disease, but they are also our future workforce. We get to hear about their experiences and hopefully piqued an interest in a future in healthcare.