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Life’s Simple 7 - Heart Assn. defines “ideal cardiovascular health”
Written by Press Staff Writer   
Thursday, 04 February 2010 15:32

For the first time, the American Heart Association has defined “ideal cardiovascular health,” identifying seven health factors and lifestyle behaviors that support heart health.

The association created the definition as part of its effort to achieve its new national goal: By 2020, to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.

The novel focus of the new goal will be preventing heart disease and stroke, most notably by helping people identify and adopt healthier lifestyle choices. This will be the first time the American Heart Association has adopted better health as a principle goal.

In a recent survey of adult Americans, the association found 39 percent said they thought they had ideal heart health; however, 54 percent of those (and 70 percent of all respondents) said a health professional had told them they had a risk factor for heart disease and/or needed to make a lifestyle change to improve their heart health. These findings indicate most people don’t associate important risk factors, such as poor diet and physical inactivity, with heart disease.

H.O.O.V.E.S. program helps veterans through equine therapy
Written by Press Staff Writer   
Thursday, 04 February 2010 15:29

The H.O.O.V.E.S. (Healing of Veterans through Equine-Assisted Services)


therapeutic program is now being offered at Vail Meadows Equestrian Riding Center in Oregon.

The program was founded by Amanda Thompson, of Riverbend Equine Therapy in Grand Rapids, who is an equine specialist certified through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Foundation.

A lifelong equestrian, Thompson is a veteran who experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after her military service. She started the program with the goal of reaching out to fellow veterans and sharing her recovery experiences with them.

Therapist Jodi Franks, also a lifelong equestrian, will work with Thompson during the H.O.O.V.E.S. therapy sessions. The parent of two children in the military, she is interested in exploring the idea of using pets as co-therapists.

Allen School students “cheerful” over fundraising effort
Written by Tammy Walro   
Thursday, 04 February 2010 15:26

The student mission statement for Allen Elementary for 2009-2010 - “Good,


With sheer determination and a detailed
plan, Allen Elementary fourth-graders set
out raise $1,000 for the American Cancer
Society. By the sixth day of the eight-day
effort, the students had collected $6,700.
The final tally will be announced at a school
assembly Feb. 12. (Press photo by Ken

better, best ¬- never let it rest, `til your good is better and your better is the best” – is meant to be inspiring.

It’s a challenge the students took to heart in a recent whirlwind fundraising effort that began when Allen Assistant Principal Cari Buehler challenged the students to raise $500 for the ACS.

Buehler, a cheerleading coach, serves as the emcee for the annual Cheer for a Cure Competition, a fundraising event held in memory of the late Stella Bertz, who coached cheerleading in the Genoa district for more than 10. She succumbed to cancer in 2003.

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