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Advocate BroMenn Medical Center news

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Advocate BroMenn to Lead American Heart Associations's Local Heart Disease Prevention Initiatives

BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL, Ill. – After one year as the cause sponsor of the American Heart Association’s My Heart. My Life. Initiatives, Advocate BroMenn Medical Center has signed on for a second year with even bigger plans for preventing heart disease in Bloomington-Normal.

As the 2013 sponsor, the medical center will add a second teaching garden (the first is located at Cedar Ridge Elementary School), designate community walking paths and walking clubs, and will act as the presenting sponsor of the 2013 McLean County Heart Walk for the 2nd consecutive year. Advocate BroMenn will also sponsor My Life Check, an online health assessment tool that allows individuals to input their health numbers such as blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI, etc. and receive a score and tips for how to improve heart health.

“Sponsoring My Health. My Life. last year was such a fun experience for us,” said Advocate BroMenn president Colleen Kannaday. “It was especially gratifying to see the kids’ excitement as they harvested their teaching garden, as well as the hundreds of people who turned out for the Heart Walk.  We look forward to taking our partnership even further in 2013.”

Throughout 2012, Advocate BroMenn Medical Center worked closely with the American Heart Association to spread awareness of heart disease prevention. The medical center sponsored the first teaching garden in the Bloomington-Normal area at Cedar Ridge Elementary School, helping to introduce kids to fruits and vegetables and the importance of a healthy diet. Under the leadership of President Colleen Kannaday, the 2012 McLean County Heart Walk raised more than $90,000 total, with Advocate raising $20,000 from their employees alone.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time chairing the Heart Walk,” Kannaday said. “In addition to raising money, the Heart Walk really raises the profile of heart disease in the community and brings together all kinds of people for the same important purpose.”

The medical center also worked closely with the American Heart Association to educate the public on nutritional topics, including reducing sodium, healthy holiday eating and eating healthier in the workplace.

“The more people know and understand about heart disease, the more equipped they’ll be to take the right steps to prevent it,” said Dr. James McCriskin, a cardiologist with Advocate Medical Group’s Illinois Heart & Lung Associates.

Unveiled in 2011, My Heart. My Life. is the American Heart Association’s comprehensive health, wellness and fitness platform intended to empower Americans to get healthier. It serves as a critical component to the American Heart Association’s 2020 Impact Goal of improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent and reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent by the year 2020.   

Aimed at elementary school students, the American Heart Association’s teaching gardens provide  hands-on learning experiences in the effort to change the way children eat and think about food. Teaching gardens serve as real-life laboratories where students learn how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest produce and, ultimately, understand the value of good eating habits.    

Walking Paths designated by the American Heart Association are deemed to be free, safe, easily accessible to the public and regularly-maintained areas to encourage walking. Walking is one of the best and easiest exercises to get healthier and reduce risks for heart disease and stroke.     

National Walking Day calls on all Americans and their employers to incorporate at least 30 minutes of brisk walking into their schedules on that day and every day. National Walking Day takes place on the first Wednesday of April each year and lands on April 4th in 2013. 

The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s premier event for raising funds to save lives from heart disease and stroke, this country’s No. 1 and No. 4 causes of death. Heart Walks promote physical activity and heart-healthy living amidst a fun, rewarding environment for the entire family.       

“The American Heart Association is delighted to be working with the team at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center again in 2013,” said Melissa Chrisman, Corporate Events Director for the Bloomington-Normal area. “Under their leadership, we have been able to spread awareness of heart disease prevention and create programs that are truly impacting lives right here in Bloomington-Normal. I am so excited to see what we will be able to accomplish in 2013 as we continue to carry out the American Heart Association’s mission in Central Illinois.”


About Advocate BroMenn
Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, located in Bloomington-Normal, has been serving and caring for the people of central Illinois for more than 115 years. As the health care leader in McLean County, BroMenn provides healing and innovation, while simultaneously offering the warm touch of professional caregivers who form the BroMenn family.

A 221-bed hospital renowned for its neuro, cardiac, orthopedic and women’s services, Advocate BroMenn Medical Center is also a teaching facility, offering residency programs in Neurosurgery, Family Practice and Clinical Pastoral Education. Part of Advocate Health Care, the facility has won several awards for clinical quality and patient satisfaction. BroMenn also has several active partnerships with other organizations, including a community cancer center, an Advanced MRI site, a sports enhancement center, a sleep disorders center, an addiction recovery unit, and an assisted living facility.

About the American Heart Association  
The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Our mission is to build healthier lives by preventing, treating and defeating these diseases – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit


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