Heart Ball

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Heart disease and stroke are the number one and four killers in Arizona. Since 1959, the Heart Ball has been held to raise money for education, prevention, research and programs to help fight heart disease. Susan Doria, the chair of the Heart Ball, will discuss the event and the impact of the deadly disease.

Ted Simons: Since 1959, the Phoenix Heart Ball has been held to raise money, fight heart disease through education, prevention, research and heart healthy programs. Susan Doria is the chair of the Phoenix Heart Ball. Good to see you, thanks for joining us. What does the Heart Ball really decide? Is it just to raise money and get these funds to these programs?

Susan Doria: It is. For 54 years we've been raising awareness of heart disease and raising money to support the programs like the American Heart Association here in the valley.

Ted Simons: Describe the programs for us.

Susan Doria: Oh, very important programs. The cornerstone of the work is research. We've been very fortunate in Arizona to have at any one time 18 different research projects funded by the American Heart Association at our hospitals and our universities. We also do a lot around prevention and education, alerting adults to know their numbers, blood pressure, cholesterol, and other metrics.

Ted Simons: And kids at the Halle Heart Museum.

Susan Doria: Absolutely. That's probably one of the jewels in the Valley. It's the only museum dedicated to the heart in the country.

Ted Simons: How do you get these kids pay attention to all this?

Susan Doria: The beauty of museum is all of the exhibits are interactive and really fun. They are shopping for food, learning about fat content and sugar. And we've received letters where the children are going home and telling their families and moms when they are going to the grocery store, no, not to buy that, you need to buy more fruits and vegetables.

Ted Simons: The Halle's, they will be among those honored?

Susan Doria: Yes. Bruce and Diane Halle, the namesakes for the children's museum, are being honored by the Western Region American Heart Association as the philanthropists of the year.

Susan Doria: And we have a second honoree, Dr. Edward Diethrich honored with a lifetime achievement cardiovascular award in science and medicine.

Ted Simons: Sounds like as much of a celebration as it is a fund-raising event.

Susan Doria: Yes, it is a celebration.

Ted Simons: Are we getting a message about heart disease out there? Are we getting through to people?

Susan Doria: We absolutely are. We are making strides in awareness and making improvements in some of the early indicators of heart disease. Yet we still have much work to do. It remains the number one killer of adults, stroke is number four. And more frighteningly lately, it's what's happening with children. For the first time we're facing a generation that might not outlive their parents. What we're seeing is in young children significant rates of obesity and childhood diabetes.

Ted Simons: All right. Well, with that in mind, obviously the work still needs to be done. When is the Heart Ball? If people want to learn more about it, where do they go?

Susan Doria: Our website, phoenixheartball.org. The event is November 23rd, the Saturday before thanksgiving. We like to say it starts the season of gratitude. And the evening is all about gratitude for our donors who support us so loyally.

Ted Simons: Good luck with the event, 59 years, my goodness, and the Halle Heart Museum is a revelation. Congratulations on that, as well.

Susan Doria: Thank you, Ted.

Ted Simons: Thank you.

Susan Doria:Chair, Heart Ball;

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