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Martins, McDonough to co-chair Heart Walk

Date: 5/3/2011

SPRINGFIELD — The American Heart Association (AHA), the largest voluntary health organization fighting heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases, recently announced Carlos Martins, senior vice president of RiverBend Medical Group, and Daniel McDonough, senior vice president of Human Resources, LENOX, as co-chairs of the 2011 Start! Pioneer Valley Heart Walk. The 2011 Heart Walk will take place on May 15 at Forest Park.

Martins and McDonough will lead the organizational and recruitment efforts for the Springfield area. The co-chairs will enlist the assistance of thousands of area volunteers, survivors, walkers, and business leaders and ask them to step up to reduce disability and death from cardiovascular disease and stroke, the leading cause of death in the United States.

"As a volunteer for the American Heart Association over the past several years, I understand the need for continual support in the fight against heart disease through funding and awareness," Martins said. "By supporting the American Heart Association's Start! Heart Walk, we are building a culture of physical activity while reducing the risk of heart disease. Many risks for heart disease are preventable and this walk is one way we can begin to make a difference in so many lives."

The Heart Walk is part of a larger corporate initiative called Start! This initiative is the AHA's groundbreaking national campaign that calls on all Americans and their employers to create a culture of physical activity and health to live longer, heart-healthy lives through walking. According to a Harvard study, adults gain two hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular exercise. Walking has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity and active people save $500 a year on healthcare costs.

"Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States with approximately one death per minute," McDonough said. "By taking on this leadership role it provides me with the opportunity to do something to help change these statistics and raise the proceeds needed for such a critical cause."

To form a walk team, or to find out more about sponsorship opportunities, call the AHA at (800) 392-4909 or visit

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