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UW Health Surpasses Fundraising Goal at Heart Walk

Donna Katen-Bahensky, Dan White, and Dr. Sweitzer

Donna Katen-Bahensky, UW Hospital CEO, is pictured with Dan White and Dr. Nancy Sweitzer at the Heart Walk

MADISON - UW Health patients, clinicians and staff joined Team UW Health at Warner Park on October 10 to raise $70,636.82 in support of the American Heart Association.


Sixty-seven team captains rallied the 932 member team to surpass last year's record of $67,000 and make 2009 the team's best year ever.


View a slideshow of this year's Heart Walk on Flickr


Two teams in particular had extraordinary success. Advanced Heart Disease hosted by team captain Nancy Sweitzer, MD raised $14,110.


Team member Dan White, a patient of Dr. Sweitzer's, single-handedly raised $12,765 and holds the honor of being the Top Walker for the entire Madison Heart Walk.


White, who was initially told that he would be a likely candidate for a transplant given the condition of his heart, has worked with his UW Health care team over the past couple of years to greatly improve his heart health and overall quality of life. He set a goal of sharing his story and asking 200 individuals to support him through the Heart Walk and not a single person turned him down.


The Preventive Cardiology team led by Vonda Shaw and Annette Nichols raised over $11,000 this year and has easily surpassed the $100,000 mark over the course of its 14-year history with the Madison Heart Walk. Though the Heart Walk has been officially supported by UW Health as a corporate sponsor for the past eight years, Preventive Cardiology's team has been involved with the Heart Walk since 1995.


"The Heart Walk is a way for our patients to stay engaged and to support the disease they have to live with every day," Shaw says. "They feel connected and valued, and the Heart Walk team is a reflection of how we try to provide care."


Preventive Cardiology Team at the Heart Walk
The Heart Walk Preventive Cardiology Team

Shaw, a clinical exercise physiologist with the Program since 1991 and transitioned to the Preventive Cardiology manager role in 2008, says that the walk is also an important event for patients' families.


She fondly talks about how she's seen some of her patients' grandkids grow up to become young adults over the years and also how the walk is a way for families to honor the memory of some patients who have passed on.


"Heart disease and stroke are the number one and two health risks for both men and women, and it's a proud moment for Team UW Health to have had this kind of fundraising success for such a good cause," says Donna Katen-Bahensky, President and CEO of UW Hospital and Clinics and former Chair of the American Heart Association Midwest Affiliate Board of Directors.


"While we treat patients for cardiovascular disease in our hospital and clinics, we also work in partnership year-round with the American Heart Association through research, advocacy and establishing protocols for care. So when we support the American Heart Association, UW Health patients benefit along with the people of Wisconsin and far beyond."


The walk as well as an after-party provided an important opportunity for UW Health to gather as a team and to celebrate our success.

Date Published: 11/09/2009

News tag(s):  heartnancy k sweitzer

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