For more information contact: Boonshoft School of Medicine, Judi Engle, Office of Public Relations, (937) 775-2951

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 2007

African American Wellness Walk Scheduled for June 23

Dayton, Ohio -"Roots to Wellness," the sixth annual African American Wellness Walk will be held Saturday, June 23, at 9:00 a.m. at Island Metro Park in Dayton. The annual event is sponsored by the Center for Healthy Communities, Five Rivers Metro Parks, Premiere Community Health, and Wright State University. Registration and a free wellness event begins at 8:00 a.m.

The African American Wellness Walk began five years ago to bring awareness and helpful information about cardiovascular diseases, its prevalence and risk factors to Dayton's African American community.

According to Dionne Simmons, the event program director, "There are ways to help prevent heart disease and stroke. Physical inactivity, which leads to becoming overweight and obese, and high blood pressure are some main factors for this disease. Another is smoking. On June 23, we are encouraging everyone to begin living a healthier life."

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death in every population in the United States. In 2004, 36.3 percent of all deaths or 1 of every 2.8 deaths were caused by this group of diseases, and coronary heart disease death rates per 100,000 people were 194.4 for white males compared to 222.2 for black males; and 115.4 for white females and 148.6 for black females. Statistics also show that among non-Hispanic blacks ages 20 and older, 44.6 % of men and 49% of women have cardiovascular disease.

Ways to prevent heart disease and stroke include: Stop smoking and reduce the exposure to second-hand smoke; become more physically active; maintain a healthy proper weight; eat foods low in saturated fats and cholesterol; monitor your blood pressure; and be sure to schedule regular checkups to monitor all risk factors.

The free wellness event will include health screenings, family entertainment, educational displays and exhibits, and free T-shirts to the first 1000 registered participants.

Island Metro Park is located at 101 East Helena Street, Dayton. Just a few miles north of RiverScape, where the Stillwater River flows into the Great Miami, the Island Metro Park is an urban oasis with a long Dayton history.

For more information or to register for the event call (937) 775-1118 or email chc@wright.edu.
Contact: Dionne Simmons.