April 18, 2024
Annapolis, US 61 F

February is Heart Health Month. Do You #DareToCARE?

Nearly a million Americans yearly suffer heart attacks, and 800,000 have strokes. Only the Annapolis-based Heart Health Foundation offers free screenings and personal follow-up guidance. And in February, they are throwing down the gauntlet and asking you to #DareToCARE.

Dare to CARE. (DTC) is a nonprofit organization in Annapolis, Maryland, and is directed by John D. Martin, MD, and Louise O. Hanson, CRNP of Cardiology Associates, PC. It began in 2000 and has been attended by thousands of people, many of whom have had life-saving procedures as a result of disease detected at DTC events.

The C.A.R.E. acronym stands for:

  • Carotid Artery Disease: the primary source of preventable strokes.
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms: the 10th leading cause of death in men.
  • Renal Artery Stenosis: responsible for at least 20% of patients on dialysis.
  • Extremity Artery Disease: a disease with a mortality rate significantly higher than breast cancer and affects 12 million Americans.

Through the efforts of volunteers and the use of lectures, educational materials, free ultrasound testing, and meetings with cardiovascular specialists, DTC brings the important message to the public that complications of cardiovascular disease can be prevented.

And this month, Maryland Heart Health Month, they have several fundraisers, but more importantly, many events across Maryland to get screened for heart disease!

Maryland Heart Health Month Events

February 1, 2023 : Skate into Health at the Annapolis Town Center

Come out to the Annapolis Town Center Ice Rink from 5:00 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday, February 1. What a great way to exercise, which is one of the ways of keeping your heart healthy. Learn about the “Dare to Care” program and Heart Health Month. Be there at 6 pm and meet Dr. John Martin, founder of the Heart Health Foundation. The first 30 people will receive a Valentine’s treat, and everyone present will be entered into a drawing to win a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

February 1, 2023: Dare to Care Screening of Delegates and Senators

On February 1st, members of the Maryland Legislature, Senators, and Delegates are being screened in Annapolis. This is not open to the public, but you can participate on February 4 by calling 410-573-9483.

February 4, 2023: Statewide Screening

The following is a list of the Vascular Screening locations throughout the state being held on February 4, 2022. Appointments for screenings are available on a first-come, first-served basis by calling ONLY this number 410-573-9483.

February 15, 2023: FOREPLAY — A Fundraising Concert at Rams Head On Stage

The 11th Annual Valentine’s Heart Health Benefit Concert features an evening of FOREPLAY – a Tribute to 70’s Rock! Named after the iconic instrumental piece to Boston’s Foreplay/Longtime!

February 19, 2023: Hearts and Hounds Mall Walk 8:00 am to 11:00 am

Join Paws for the Cause of Heart Health in a joyous stroll around the halls of the Annapolis mall with your favorite furry friend. Join hundreds of happy hounds as they strut their stuff to support the work of the Anne Arundel County SPCA and the Heart Health Foundation. Learn the fun facts as to why owning a pet reduces your chances of having a heart attack, lowers your blood pressure and brings great joy to your life. Smiles abound as our 4-legged partners wander through tables of information from the Anne Arundel Fire Department on CPR, Health Department Resources, CareFirst Resources and wonderful supporting animal businesses.  Witness vascular screening demonstrations, new life saving technology demos and special guest appearances from Lucky the Dog.  The SPCA and Heart Health Foundation will be on hand to share their work and kindly accept your generous donations.  Learn about the SPCA’s exciting new shelter under construction.  Don’t miss this special annual event and support the work of two of the areas’ most dedicated non-profits.

February 22, 2023: Panel–Heart Disease in Communities of Color 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Anne Arundel Community College

Hear from distinguished Panelists as they address one of the greatest greatest health challenge, review current data, highlight existing programs, and plot a course to Heart Health Equity for all regardless of skin color.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Maryland and across the globe. One million deaths occur every year from heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular disorders in the USA alone. Additionally, 62% of men and 42% of women with cardiovascular disease are first diagnosed at the time of sudden cardiac death. This is far too common and represent a missed opportunity for early detection and prevention of these life changing events. This is unacceptable at a time when we have established therapies that are inexpensive and effective.

These statistics are even more dramatic and troubling in communities of color. Health inequity is pervasive and impacts diagnosis, treatment and outcomes. The color of one’s skin should not determine outcome, but it clearly does and its indisputable. 

We spoke with Dr.Martin on the podcast…have a listen!

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