2023 Joe Reed Memorial Heart Walk promotes healthy living

Published 4:08 pm Monday, April 24, 2023

Starting around 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, a crowd gathered around the Clark Regional Medical Center parking lot all in the name of increasing healthy living.

The 2023 Joe Reed Memorial Heart Walk, followed by a free community health fair, benefitted community citizens in more ways than one.

“We’re all about making communities healthier. That’s our mission,” said Clark Regional Medical Center CEO Matt Smith. “We thought, ‘what a better way to be efficient and serve the community than a dual event by letting folks come out and honor their loved ones in a walk, and then also stick around to learn about some services?’”

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Some individuals had already signed up online, but on-site registration began at 9.

Of those in attendance, many wore colored hats.

Red-colored hats, with the word “Survivor” on them, represented those who had suffered from heart disease and related albums or strongly supported others that have.

White-colored hats functioned much the same but with stroke victims.

At approximately 9:20, Winchester Mayor JoEllen Reed spoke.

With the heart walk being named after her late father, she acknowledged that the day held some bittersweet feelings.

She also acknowledged that her father battled heart disease, including a heart attack, while in the hospital.

Yet, because of what’s been learned, she’s happy that money raised through the event will go toward further research.

“When my dad was in Lexington the hospital doctor came in and said, Had this been five years earlier, we would’ve had to just do nothing because we [would not] know what to do,” said Reed. “I’m thankful to the research and the money that’s been raised throughout the day.”

Shortly after that, Mallory Jones—a George Rogers Clark High School sophomore who has successfully battled Non-Classical Wolfe-Parkinson-White Syndrome – sang the national anthem.

And, among other honors, those who have survived battles with heart disease were honored with a photo just in front of the arch where the walk soon began.

One of those individuals was Pravin Patel, a retired engineer currently living in Lexington.

Patel, who formerly worked in Millersburg and had a coronary bypass fourteen years ago, has been active since.

“Walking is great exercise. I get my blood flowing,” Patel said. “I think it’s a good idea to have events throughout the year to educate the community and people about [the] heart and other diseases that, today, we have chosen to address.”

Patel emphasized eating a healthy diet, walking, laying off red meats, keeping cholesterol in check, and prioritizing vegetables and fruits as keys to solid heart health.

The walk, which consisted of walking around the exterior of the building, was completed by many locals, including Clark County Coroner Neal Oliver.

Three laps around the facility were equivalent to approximately one mile.

Afterward, a healthcare event took place in the parking lot of the hospital

The hospital had stations where staff could speak with residents and even, at times, provide numerous tests.

These stations included color deficiency testing, interventional radiology, CATH Lab, free sports physicals, pinch testing, as well as chest pain and stroke.

Linda Conyers, Accreditation Specialist at Clark Regional Medical Center, explained the importance of the latter and taking quick action when symptoms present themselves.

“We tend to think it’s nothing sometimes, but it can be something,” Conyers said. “It’s so important to get them the care that they need.”

FAST, an acronym for facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, and time, describes a series of symptoms to look for when determining if an individual may be having difficulties.

“The main thing is time,” she said. “You want to make sure that you get them timely to a facility so we can get the medication that they may need.”

Several organizations other than CRMS were also present, including The Barre Fitness Boutique, UK Healthcare, Bluegrass Community Health Center, Bluegrass Community Hospital, and Bourbon Community Hospital.

“We’re just here to promote behavioral health at Bourbon Community Hospital and how much that behavioral health can also affect the heart,” said Vivian Hall, Director of Behavioral Health at Bourbon Community Hospital in Paris. “It’s important to maintain good mental health through exercise and reducing stress.”

The 2023 Joe Reed Memorial Heart Walk and free community health fair sought to educate the community.

It is a continual motivating factor for those involved.

“We’re here to serve the community, and that’s what’s most important to people,” Smith said. “That’s why we get up every single day.”