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Group raising heart health awareness

February is American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease, support advances in heart research and recognize those heart patients who are fighting and winning the heart disease war.

This year, The Mended Hearts, a national volunteer- and community-based organization offering hope, encouragement and support to heart patients and now aligned with the American College of Cardiology, will celebrate its 60-year anniversary. The theme: Our Foundation for the Future, recognizes our established foundation built over the years that will continue to support future endeavors. We know from experience — and scientific studies confirm — that a patient-to-patient visiting program is often a critical component in a patient’s recovery and return to a fulfilling life.

In Albany and Southwest Georgia, Mended Hearts chapter 165 conducts an accredited visiting program at Phoebe Putney Memorial hospital. Our local Mended Hearts chapter is in its 28th year of service. Our volunteers visit heart patients and their families in the hospital when they need us most. Our members also make follow-up visits and telephone calls, answer lifestyle questions and write letters and emails to offer emotional support and encouragement. Perhaps most important of all, we listen.

Our motto is: It’s great to be alive — and to help others — and during this American Heart Month we invite current heart patients to request a hospital visit and those who have recovered to become involved in helping others.

To learn more about the services and outreach we offer to heart patients, please contact us. You can reach Mended Hearts by phone locally by calling chapter President Nancy Askey at (229) 435-6453 or Membership Chairman Sam Foster at (229) 436-7140. National contact is 1-888-HEART99 (1-888-432-7899) or online at www.mendedhearts.org.

NANCY ASKEY

Albany

EDITOR’S NOTE: Nancy Askey is president of Mended Hearts chapter 165.