SHAPE Golf FORE Heart 2011 Raises $32,000 for
Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication
BALTIMORE, July 12, 2011 – SHAPE, The Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (http://www.shapesociety.org , a nonprofit organization that promotes early detection and preventive intervention to reduce heart attack risk, today announced the Golf FORE Heart 2011 Guy P. Fernandez Memorial Golf Tournament raised a total of $32,000. A total of 136 golfers participated in the charity golf tournament started by Baltimore resident, JoAnne Zawitoski, in memory of her late husband, Guy Fernandez. The event took place on June 15 at the Mountain Branch Golf Club, in Joppa Maryland.
“Golf FORE Heart is a family affair for us and Guy’s friends and colleagues,” said Zawitoski of Semmes, Bowen & Semmes, who co-chaired the event with Mark Montgomery of Ports America Chesapeake. “It is also a fun day for a great cause — preventing that first heart attack. I know that Guy would be pleased with what we’re doing. There were so many supporters this year, the event was at maximum capacity and some golfers actually had to be unfortunately turned away!”
Funds raised at Golf FORE Heart support SHAPE’s mission of preventing first heart attacks and supporting efforts to eradicate heart attack. SHAPE supports traditional risk-reduction strategies including public education and awareness, and undertakes preventive screening initiatives for early detection and intervention in the asymptomatic population.
With generous support from Panasonic, CardioNexus, and Baltimore Ultrasound Services, Inc., Golf FORE Heart 2011 participants received biometric screenings and were even able to get their carotid arteries screened for plaque – an important indicator of atherosclerosis, and a primary heart attack risk factor.
“It has been obvious for some time that new strategies are needed to fight the growing epidemic of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Morteza Naghavi, Founder of SHAPE. “Continuing to do what we have done in the past 20 years, while useful, will not suffice. Heart attack has been the number one killer in this country for decades. To change the status quo we need to change the way we think and practice.”
SHAPE advocates two simple screening tests to detect signs of atherosclerosis, or plaque build-up in arteries, which is the true cause of heart attacks. The two simple tests are a Carotid Intima-Media Thickness (CIMT) Ultrasound, and a Calcium Scoring CT Heart Scan. Both are easy, fast, inexpensive and non-invasive. And both screenings were elevated to Level 2A status in the November 2010 Guidelines released by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.
The death of Guy Fernandez probably could have been prevented if he was screened for atherosclerosis. A Baltimore resident, Fernandez was 49 years old, a non-smoker with a 34 inch waist when he died instantly of a massive heart attack 10 days after receiving a clean bill of health from his primary care physician. Although he had no prior symptoms of heart disease, no chest pain or shortness of breath, he had three severely blocked arteries.
Fernandez’s story reflects the fact that every day more than 1,900 previously healthy individuals arrive at emergency rooms with a first heart attack. Traditional risk assessment guidelines simply miss these people, about 80 percent of whom are considered to be at low to intermediate risk prior to their heart attack.
Major supporters of the event included: Atalanta Sosnoff Capital, Ports America Chesapeake, Inc., Atlantic Container Lines, Inc., Highstar Capital, CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, Propeller Club of Baltimore, Inc. Charitable Trust, Semmes Bowen & Semmes Foundation, McCalls Handling, BalTerm, LLP, Columbia Partners, LLC, IPS Group, Inc., McCarthy Tire and Corman Marine Construction.
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