In January, we kicked off our 5th year of service. On New Year's Eve my husband, Bill, and I talked about the coming year. I remember him asking me what I hoped Heart2Heart would accomplish this year. I said, without hesitation, that I wanted to double the number of people screened for heart disease through our Statewide Screening Day initiative, expand our speaking engagements to other areas of South Carolina and increase attendance at our 2017 Queen of Hearts Gala as well as our Back2School Block Party!
You know, they say, "be careful for what you wish for ..."
Our Queen of Hearts Gala was a wonderful event as we celebrated our successes in 2016 and shared our plans for 2017. Our annual celebration continues to grow and we are so excited that in 2018, the event will be held in the McBryde Hall at Winthrop University! (Save the date for Saturday, February 3, 2018!)
What started out in 2015 as one day in February, declared to be Statewide Screening Day by former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, has grown into screening events throughout Heart Month! This year, our SSD Partners held 34 heart health screening events resulting in more than 900 women and men learning their risk for heart disease! We still have a few partners confirming their final numbers, but we are ecstatic with the response! Events were held in every corner of the state including the State House in Columbia, Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville and at nine locations in York County through Piedmont Medical Center! Each of the screening participants also received free heart health educational materials from Heart2Heart to help them learn how to prevent and manage risk factors.
During February, we also made six educational presentations across the state to around 417 people and participated in six special events distributing our Heart2Heart bags to another 515 people. One of the events through which we were honored to exhibit was Palmetto Health's Women at Heart event at the Columbia Convention Center!
It is remarkable to think that in just ONE month, we were able to share our message with over 1,900 women and their loved ones. When I looked at events for all of first quarter, we have already provided free heart health educational resources to over 2,100 people across South Carolina! The expansion of our outreach in the state was made possible through funding by Boston Scientific - Close the Gap, Williams & Fudge, Inc. and Molina Health Care.
In March, we partnered with Piedmont Medical Center, Carolina Cardiology and St. Philip Neri Catholic Parish in Fort Mill. Through this event, 25 women and men received free screenings - including the Advance Screening with EKG and Cardiologist review - and learned more about Sleep Apnea and Atrial Fibrillation from Drs. Sushil Singhi and Arun Kundra, respectively.
In addition to the 1,000+ participants who received free heart health screenings from January through March, five women also received Heart2Heart Scholarships to receive a Coronary Calcium Scoring and one for an Advance Screening with EKG. We are so grateful for our health care provider partners!
A few of the events we are excited to participate in soon will be the York Technical College Health & Wellness Fair, South Carolina Strawberry Festival, COOLFest, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC's Wellness Fairs in Columbia. Please check out our calendar page for upcoming events and volunteer opportunities. We would love to see you!
Make sure you mark your calendar now for our 2017 Back2School Block Party on Saturday, August 5 at the Rock Hill Galleria. Thanks to Alpha Kappa Alpha - Eta Alpha Omega Chapter, Blue Choice Medicaid, and Molina Health Care, we will have 1,000 book bags and 1,500 pencil pouches to distribute to families this year! In addition, there will be free screenings through Piedmont Medical Center, York County Free Clinic, North Central Family Medical Center and America's Best Eyecare! Add to that between 40-50 community partners who will provide free resources, supplies and information to parents and their children to help them have a healthy and productive school year! If your company would like to help, please contact us!
Thank you for your continued support! Because of you ... we are touching hearts and saving lives!