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Building a culture of health in Palm Beach County
Palm Beach County is living the high life. Wide stretches of tropical beaches. World-class golf courses. Beautiful state parks packed with quintessential Florida wildlife. We're lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and we take advantage of it. Our home is below the national average for high blood pressure, smoking rates, and obesity. These rankings paint a broad picture of health in our community, but there is more work to do. Food deserts exist in our county. There are schools where kids go hungry. Fast or unhealthy foods are still chosen over balanced nutrition. Despite these challenges, the heart of Palm Beach County beats with pride. Our cycle lanes, walking paths, and world-class beaches encourage people to move more and get active. Students graduate high school trained in Hands-Only CPR, adding over 10,000 new lifesavers to our streets each year. Join us in building a healthier community!
Lifestyle Risk Factors
“I support the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement because I’ve seen firsthand how the research and education it provides can help save lives. I was born with heart disease and I had to have open heart surgery at a young age. Since then, I’ve eaten healthy and exercised regularly to maintain an optimal level of heart health. When I turned 40, I went for my annual well woman visit and my cardiologist told me I had to have my second open heart surgery. If I hadn’t gone to my doctor, I probably wouldn’t be here today. My heart was in distress, but I did not show any obvious signs or symptoms. It is so important to be an advocate for your own health and to know and understand your numbers as well as your family history.”
–Ilene Emanuel, Palm Beach survivor
Healthy For Good
You don’t need a guilt trip. We know you know. You want to be Healthy For Good. And we’re here to help inspire you to create lasting change in your health and your life, one small step at a time. The approach is simple: Eat smart. Add color. Move more. Be well. Get Healthy For Good.
Take the BetterU Challenge
The 3rd annual BetterU Challenge, made possible in Palm Beach through the generosity of Sally Ross Soter, empowers women to take charge of their heart health. Through this 12-week lifestyle change program, ten local women learn the importance of nutrition, physical activity, blood pressure, cholesterol, family history and other heart-health factors.
Begin your 30 Days of Heart
Living healthy is a struggle, but our loved ones depend on us. Our hearts depend on us. So giving up isn't an option. Need a jump-start? Take thirty healthy steps. One day at a time. Backed by science.
Volunteering in Palm Beach
Kathryn has been supporting the efforts of the American Heart Association for over 30 years. She is a two- time Chairman of the Palm Beach Heart Ball and serves as a member of the local Board of Directors.
“It is so important to spread awareness that heart disease is our number one health threat. It is through this awareness that people become empowered to make positive changes that hopefully lead to a longer and healthier life."
–Kathryn Vecellio, Palm Beach volunteer
Check. Change. Control.
Stress on your blood vessels from high blood pressure can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and other serious health threats. Use our free Check. Change. Control.™ online tool to track your readings and maintain a healthy heart!
The AHA and AMA joined forces with the launch of Target: BP™ to support physicians and care teams. We can track and maintain blood pressure goals for our patients by offering access to the latest research, tools, and resources.
Improving the Health of Local Employees
On average, we spend more than half of our waking hours at work. That is why we collaborated with local businesses to create a more physically active, health conscious culture in the office.
Focus on Quality
Patient outcomes improve when medical professionals apply the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatment guidelines. That’s the simple truth behind the obsession with continuous quality improvement. Our entire suite of programs can help advance your efforts farther and faster in the quest for ever-better care.
CPR Saves Lives
Emergencies leave us feeling helpless, but they don’t have to. Take two minutes to learn Hands-Only CPR(link opens in new window)(link opens in new window) now. 70 percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes. When a person has a cardiac arrest, immediate CPR can double or triple their chance of survival. Prepare to save a life, find a CPR course near you today.
Training New Citizen Lifesavers
We want there to be a lifesaver in every home. Our Sips & CPR series engages Circle of Red members and others to learn CPR in a fun and educational way. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue teach hands-only CPR. Cleveland Clinic physicians give heart-healthy educational presentations. Passionate and influential community leaders are changing the conversation, raising awareness, and saving more lives.
Local Policy Win
To raise the number of CPR-trained bystanders, a growling list of Florida school districts are enacting formal CPR in Schools policy to train students in CPR prior to graduation, including Palm Beach County.
Scientific Research Is the Core of all Our Efforts
Breakthroughs. Innovation. Millions of lives saved. That is American Heart Association funded research. From the first successful pacemaker to new techniques saving newborns with congenital heart defects to drug-coated stents, we fund bold ideas that transform health care.
Closing Equity Gaps
EmPOWERED To Serve is a movement inspired by multicultural volunteers around the country who are passionate about driving change through health justice in their communities. These committed ambassadors are closing gaps in health equity through advocacy, policy, education, and social change.
You are not alone. Learn from people like you, or help others who are going through an emotional time. Explore the forums, read survivor stories, seek and receive support.
Cheryl "Sheri" Kovalsky, Palm Beach stroke survivor
Waking up with a migraine was nothing new for Sheri, but last November, she woke up and knew something was wrong. "This isn’t anything like I’ve felt before,” she told her husband and decided to go to the Emergency Room at Wellington Regional Medical Center.
Doctors quickly determined that she had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. It took 15 days in the hospital to recover, and today she has no disabilities or setbacks. It’s rare to have a stroke with no side effects, but Sheri will monitor the situation regularly to avoid future complications.
Across the Sunshine State, communities are building a healthier infrastructure and tackling inequities for hearts of all ages. The challenges are great, but together our future is greater.
Palm Beach County Heart Walk
Saturday, November 16th, 2019
Let's get Heartwalking, a movement to move more. Heart Walk is a festival of one million hearts in 300+ communities nationwide beating healthy for good. Join us in West Palm Beach! Walk in memory of someone you love, or create a team.
64th Annual Palm Beach Heart Ball
February 15, 2019
Business, medical, and other community leaders unite to celebrate the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association. Don't miss this unforgettable evening of inspiration, entertainment, and hope as we build a healthier Palm Beach County!
Palm Beach County Go Red For Women Luncheon
April 11, 2019
PGA National Resort & Spa
We "Go Red" for our mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. Heart disease and stroke cause one in three deaths among women - more than all cancers combined. Let's raise awareness that 80 percent of cardiac events are preventable!
Strokes For Stroke
Strokes for Stroke is an annual art event held in collaboration with our Palm Beach County Together To End Stroke Sponsor, Wellington Regional Medical Center. Annually, the event provides a forum for our community to learn about our fifth leading cause of death and number one cause of preventable disability, stroke. Medical experts and community leaders provide an interactive discussion and hands on experience for our guests. Various simulation and art stations are displayed so that our attendees gain an opportunity to become more aware of what the signs and symptoms of a stroke may look like.
Why I Support the AHA…
“My family has supported the American Heart Association in Palm Beach for decades and it has been a privilege to see the great work of the Association evolve over the years. When I chose to relocate permanently to Palm Beach it was the first charity I had on my mind to support and I was so proud that my two children got involved too. I am incredibly honored to carry on the legacy of giving by my family to the American Heart Association and support the mission to build heathier lives for all people, not just here in Palm Beach, but throughout the state and the country.”
–Lee Ann Alderton, a Palm Beach County donor
Palm Beach County Board of Directors
Executive Vice President, Florida Market
PNC Financial Services Group
Darryl Miller, MD, FACC
Immediate Past Chair
Wellington Regional Medical Center
Immediate Past President
Ali R. Malek, M.D., F.S.N.I.S.
Palm Beach Neuroscience Institute
Leadership Development Chair
Edward F. Tancer
Attorney at Law
Paul C. Bremer
Marshall E. Rinker, Sr. Foundation, Inc.
Deborah H. Caplan
Human Resources and Corporate Services
NextEra Energy, Inc.
Tracy Christian, BPharm, FIACP
Premier Custom Pharmacy
John A. Domenico
Private Client Advisor II
U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
Lewis Hay, III
Retired Chairman, CEO and President
NextEra Energy, Inc.
Chief Strategy Officer
Economic Council of Palm Beach County
Kathryn C. Vecellio
The Vecellio Group, Inc.
District 4 Board Member
Palm Beach County School Board
Chief Operating Officer
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office