St. Mary Medical Center-American Heart Association Walking Path Dedication Means Another Way to be Well

By: Caitlin Vanlaningham Last Updated: September 5, 2012

The rain must have known better because it stopped in time for the Dedication Ceremony of the American Heart Association Walking Path that took place on Wednesday morning. The path is located adjacent to the Portage YMCA.  It is one of hundreds of American Heart Association Walking Paths located across the country. St. Mary Medical Center teamed up with the American Heart Association and the Portage YMCA to create this walking path.

Diane Kemp, Executive Director of the American Heart Association, was one of the speakers at the ceremony. She was very excited to take part in the event.

“The American Heart Association has been actively working to improve heart health for more than 80 years.  We are honored to have the first Porter County American Heart Association Walking Path,” Kemp stated.

The walking path is free to the public which is perfect because everyone is watching their budgets these days. Getting healthy at no cost? I think we can happily live with that. On top of the wallet-friendly aspect, the walking path is easily accessible and safe. St. Mary Medical Center is the sponsor for the walking path, and they were at the Dedication Ceremony to commemorate and celebrate the occasion.

“When the American Heart Association approached us about becoming part of the network of walking paths, we jumped at the opportunity to be a part of something larger,” said Janice Ryba, CEO of St. Mary Medical Center, who was also a speaker at the ceremony. “We are doing that through the sponsorship of the Portage Walking Path!”

Mayor Jim Snyder was there as well, and he proudly cut the ribbon along with a group of eager children to officially open the walking path. Mary Fetsch, Director of Marketing at St. Mary Medical Center, was was in attendance and felt equally excited about the event.

“It’s a safe route- approved by the Heart Association,” Fetsch stated. “Our goal, from St. Mary’s point of view, is to be able to encourage, and open up the doors, and create easier access for fun, healthy activities so that people start taking an active role in their health and being proactive. So we want to help provide and support those resources out there.”

Here’s another reason to go and check out the walking path: every quarter mile on the path there are signs posted with facts about heart health. This means that you can do you heart, as well as your brain, some good!

On September 18, the Portage YMCA is going to be starting a walking club. It will run every Tuesday at 9:45am through December and it is also free to the public. It will be a one-hour walk on the new walking path, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate, then it will take place inside the Portage YMCA.

“We encourage parents to come with strollers, we encourage seniors to come, anybody who’s available to come and walk at that time,” said Nancy Simpson, Marketing and Fund Development Director for the Portage YMCA. “It’s a great place to meet other walkers and get healthy!”

You heard the woman, folks! Get up, get out and get walking!

Don’t miss the American Heart Association's Heart Walk on September 29, 2012 at Coffee Creek in Chesterton. Proceeds will help make web resources and programs such as Go Red for Women available for free.

To find out more about the the American Heart Association Walking Paths click here!!

To find out more about the Saint Mary Medical Center click here!!

And to check out what is happening at the Portage YMCA click here!

Click here to check out the Portage YMCA Facebook page!!