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World Heart Day walk to feature Jawz and 'hearties'



INDIANAPOLIS — Jawz, the official IUPUI mascot, will join students, staff and faculty from the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health and other schools at IUPUI on Sept. 29 for the World Heart Day walk from campus to Monument Circle.   

Among those walking will be faculty and students from the IU School of Physical Education and Tourism Management, who will lead participants to ensure safety and make sure everyone walks as a group.

The one-mile walk on World Heart Day to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument aims to send a message to Hoosiers: “Move more. Eat right. Love Life. Be happy.”

That message is the tag line for the walk, which intends to raise awareness and motivate Hoosiers to help change two Indiana health rankings. One shows the state ranks 41 out of 50 states in overall health. The other places Indiana 39 out of 50 states in deaths due to heart disease.

Walkers can take a “heartie selfie” with Jawz at Monument Circle and show their support for reducing the number of preventable deaths from cardiovascular disease by posting their “heartie” photos on the Fairbanks School’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @FSPH_IUPUI and using the hashtag #DoneWith41.

“To be done with 41, Hoosiers need to make a few lifestyle changes,” said Paul K. Halverson, founding dean of the public health school. “The good news is, the changes are simple and inexpensive:  increasing physical activity, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight and being tobacco-free are a few of the things that can make a big difference in improving heart health and quality of life.”

At Monument Circle, the IUPUI walkers will meet a second group led by Winnie Ballard, wife of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. A brief program will be presented. Former Colts player Gary Brackett will be among those speaking to World Heart Day walkers.

IUPUI faculty, staff and students are encouraged to join the walk at 11:45 a.m. at the Wood Plaza Fountain.