Via Christi Health joins the American Heart Association as local sponsor of "My Heart. My Life."

Jul 17, 2013, 16:30 ET from American Heart Association

Top-level sponsorship focuses on year-round collaboration, Heart Walk

WICHITA, Kan., July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Via Christi Health has joined the American Heart Association as the local platform sponsor for "My Heart. My Life." – a national movement designed to improve the health of Americans.

With an emphasis on families, "My Heart. My Life." focuses on healthy living and creating healthy mindsets through a range of education, advocacy and community efforts that reinforce the value of eating well and being physically active.  

"The American Heart Association looks forward to working with Via Christi Health in this new capacity," said Karen Cox, Chair of the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association in Wichita. "With their support, we can provide information about how to prevent heart disease and stroke though a proactive approach to healthy living to so many more Wichita-area families."

This new and exciting year-round collaboration will focus on unique ways to reach the community through events such as National Eating Healthy Day, celebrated on the first Wednesday in November; National Walking Day, celebrated on the first Wednesday in April; and culminating at the Wichita Heart Walk, for which Via Christi Health and the Beechcraft Corporation will be the presenting sponsors.

Additionally, American Heart Association staff and volunteers will be joining Via Christi Health at a variety of other community events for which Via Christi is a major sponsor, such as the FitForLife Expo held in conjunction with the Prairie Fire Marathon and KidFest held in conjunction with the Prairie Fire Half Marathon.

The 2014 Heart Walk will be held on Saturday, June 14, at Wichita State University's Cessna Stadium.

"We're excited to see the event once again be held on a Saturday morning, as that allows so many more of our staff and their families to participate," said Peg Tichacek, Chief Planning and Marketing Officer for Via Christi Health, which for a number of years has been among the Heart Walk's top companies in terms of team size and dollars raised. "We're also pleased to be partnering with the American Heart Association in a year-round effort to improve the health and lives of those we see in our hospitals, clinics and senior living communities every day."

The need for a local and national movement to improve the heart-health of Americans is vitally important. Heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of Kansans and all Americans. Stroke is the No. 4 killer and a leading cause of disability. Statistics show that one in two men and one in three women are at risk for heart disease, and research shows that poor lifestyle is a major contributor.

From walking clubs, walking paths and teaching gardens to cooking tips and easy-made recipes, "My Heart. My Life." helps individuals and families understand how to get active and eat healthy. All of this ties in to the American Heart Association's aggressive 2020 goal – to reduce the death rate from cardiovascular disease by 20 percent while improving the overall health of Americans by 20 percent.

To learn more about the "My Heart. My Life" healthy living initiative and the efforts to improve the heart-health of all Americans, visit

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America's No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit In Wichita, call 316-265-4238 or visit

About Via Christi Health:
Sponsored by Ascension Health, Via Christi Health is the largest provider of health care services in Kansas. Via Christi employs approximately 10,000 in its hospitals, senior villages, physician offices and health services. In fiscal year 2012, it provided $90.5 million in community benefit to those it serves, including the poor. Visit

SOURCE American Heart Association