Like other schools of public health, the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health talks a lot about the importance of prevention in improving the health of populations and communities. On September 29, 2014, the School is going to walk the talk – literally. In observance of World Heart Day, Founding Dean Paul K. Halverson, will lead a first-of-its-kind walk from the IUPUI campus to Indianapolis’ iconic Monument Circle, just 1.1 miles away. The list of those who are participating in World Heart Day activities includes IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz and the Deans of IUPUI’s 17 schools, as well as faculty, staff and students from every corner of the urban campus. At Monument Circle, the IUPUI group will meet up with a group led by Winnie Ballard, wife of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. After a brief program addressing the importance of physical activity in reducing preventable deaths from cardiovascular disease, the IUPUI group will walk back to campus.
“The IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health is the newest School on IU’s premiere health sciences campus, but we’re not letting our newness stop us from making big contributions to IU’s efforts to improve the health of people in Indiana and beyond,” explained Dr. Halverson. “At IUPUI we’re acutely aware that Indiana ranks 41 out of 50 states in overall health, and 39 out of 50 in deaths due to heart disease. We’re working to dramatically improve those numbers. In order to be “done with 41,” Hoosiers need to make a few lifestyle changes. The good news is, the changes needed are simple and inexpensive: increasing physical activity, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and being tobacco-free are a few of the things that can make a big difference in improving heart health and quality of life.”
The Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health is spending the entire month of September promoting a heart health message, with articles in IUPUI newsletters, messages on social media and an Op Ed in the Indianapolis Star, all unified with the hashtag #DoneWith41. With its focus on prevention of disease and promotion of health, the School is in a unique position to get the word out. “World Heart Day asks us to recognize the devastating impact cardiovascular disease has on people all around the world, in the hope we will be inspired to take steps to improve our own heart health and the health of our communities,” Dr. Halverson noted. “It’s a mission that is very much in keeping with the mission of the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health to support healthy people in healthy communities, and the vision of IUPUI to advance the health and well-being of Hoosiers and people around the world.”
For more information, go to www.pbhealth.iupui.edu/worldheartday