The American Heart Association, the leading voluntary health organization focused on heart and brain health for all, is inviting Maryland back to its premier event to boost physical and mental health through healthy habits while supporting the lifesaving mission.
Greater Maryland Heart Walk participants and teams are invited to the Camden Yards Sports Complex in Baltimore to celebrate heart and stroke survivors, raise lifesaving funds and encourage physical activity on Oct. 16, 2021.
This year’s theme, Heart Walk Here, invites participants to walk on the event path or to create a path of their own. From parks and parkways to tucked away trails, participants are invited to Heart Walk at any location that inspires their heart health.
For the first time, this year’s Heart Walk event at Camden Yards will feature a rolling start from 8 to 11 a.m., allowing participants to practicing safe social distancing and giving them more flexibility to walk when it fits into their schedule.
“In addition to the rolling start to ensure that every Heart Walker can participate safely, additional safety protocols we’ve put in place at Camden Yards include a mask-friendly environment, encouraged social distancing and plenty of sanitation stations,” said Tracy Brazelton, the executive director of the American Heart Association of Baltimore and Greater Maryland.
“We are also encouraging people if they feel more comfortable to walk on their own campus or in their own neighborhood with family and friends.”
The 2021 Greater Maryland area Heart Walk is led by Bradley S. Chambers, the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Baltimore Region, MedStar Health.
“The past year has shown us that no matter where we are, we can come together for a common cause,” Chambers said. “The Heart Walk is all about promoting the health and well-being of our community and supporting our lifesaving mission.”
To register, visit greatermarylandheartwalk.org. From there, participants can stay up to date by downloading the Heart Walk mobile app and encourage friends and family to join in via e-mail or on social media. Those walking Heart Walk on a path of their own, can follow the festivities through the event hashtag, #MDHeartWalk.
Participants can register up to the day of the Heart Walk. Those who do not wish to walk but would like to donate can do so online through Dec. 31, 2021.
There will also be a series of virtual experiences in the Week of Wellness leading up to this year’s Heart Walk, starting with a Digital Chair Yoga, sponsored by Poole & Kent, for #MoveMoreMD Monday, Oct. 11.
At noon on Tuesday, Oct. 12, a panel of specialists from MedStar Health will lead a community conversation on Zoom about “The Intersection of COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Disease.”
Executive Chef Stephanie Rose of the American Heart Association’s Simple Cooking with Heart Kitchen in Baltimore will lead a virtual cooking class from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, sponsored by Johns Hopkins Medicine.
A second community conversation, scheduled for noon Thursday, Oct. 14, and sponsored by the University of Maryland Medical System, will feature providers discussing “Adults with Congenital Heart Disease Today.”
The Greater Maryland Heart Walk is sponsored by MedStar Health, Johns Hopkins Medicine, LifeBridge Health and University of Maryland Medical System.
The Heart Walk is the signature event of the American Heart Association’s Heart Challenge program which is designed to help companies positively impact employee overall health and wellbeing. The program is anchored in a series of customizable workplace events that inspires employees to be more engaged, reconnect with colleagues, get in their physical activity, support a great cause and have a lot of fun doing it.
“We are excited to welcome the community back to our first in-person heart walk since 2019. We appreciate the leadership of our chair, Brad Chambers, the support of our sponsors and the entire community,” Brazelton said. “The Heart Walk is a great opportunity to celebrate survivors, to remember and pay tribute to those who have been lost to heart diseases and stroke, and to show your support of the mission of the American Heart Association.”
The funds raised from the Greater Maryland Heart Walk go towards research, advocacy, CPR training and to promote better health in support of the Association’s 2024 Health Equity Impact Goal, reducing barriers to health care access and quality. Visit www2.heart.org to learn more.
Wayne, a lifelong Marylander, is the communications director for the American Heart Association serving Baltimore and Greater Maryland. Reach him at email@example.com.