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Media Contact: Tom Grant
tgrant@adventisthealthcare.com
301-315-3356

Published on August 04, 2010

Hospitals to Offer Virtual Journey Through the Arteries to Help Raise Awareness of Common Health Danger

Blocked Arteries Linked to About 1 in 4 Deaths in the U.S. Each Year

Rockville, MD - Shady Grove Adventist Hospital and Washington Adventist Hospital will be the first hospitals in the Washington, D.C. region to offer the community a chance to take a 3-D virtual tour through the arteries. On August 5-8, the US AGAINST ATHERO Artery Explorer, a mobile motion simulator, will be located at the two hospitals on alternating days, offering the public the first opportunity to learn about the health dangers blocked arteries, or atherosclerosis, can cause and what can be done to prevent the common condition.

Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of coronary heart disease, which affects 1.2 million Americans each year and is the number one killer in the United States. Despite its prevalence, many people are unaware of atherosclerosis, because it builds silently over many years, causing virtually no symptoms until it leads to a serious event such as a heart attack or stroke.

“Blocked arteries reduce blood supply to vital organs such as the heart and brain, depriving them of oxygen and vital nutrients,” says Dr. Mark Turco, cardiologist and Director for the Center of Cardiac and Vascular Research at Washington Adventist Hospital. “It’s important for us to educate and inform people about this issue, so they can become advocates for their own health and the health of those around them.”

Shady Grove Adventist and Washington Adventist Hospitals are partnering with US AGAINST ATHERO, a movement led by AstraZeneca, as part of the hospitals’ commitment to improving the health of local communities. By taking participants “inside” the human arteries, the Artery Explorer vividly illustrates the causes, progression and consequences of atherosclerosis to help people understand their risks.

“Atherosclerosis can begin in early adulthood and continue to progress for the rest of a person's life,” says Dr. Michael Chen, Chair of Cardiology at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. “Risk factors include high LDL (bad) cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet. We hope that the community members who participate in the Artery Explorer simulator will learn how they can control many of these by committing to a healthier lifestyle, which can slow the progression of atherosclerosis.”

The Artery Explorer will be located at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital on Thursday, August 5, and Saturday, August 7, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. The vehicle will be located at Washington Adventist Hospital on August 6 and 8, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Children who are at least 40 inches tall are welcome to ride and learn about how they can protect themselves from this common condition. The event is free and open to the public.

Washington Adventist Hospital is a 281-bed acute-care facility located in Takoma Park, Maryland. Washington Adventist Hospital is Montgomery County’s first cardiac center, performing more than 500 open-heart surgeries and more than 6,000 heart catheterizations each year. The Hospital is the first accredited Cycle III Chest Pain Center in the DC Metro Area. Washington Adventist Hospital is part of Adventist HealthCare, an integrated health-care delivery system based in Rockville, Maryland, that is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland.

Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, is a not-for-profit, acute care facility in Rockville, Maryland, with 336 licensed beds. Shady Grove is committed to delivering excellent health care through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing. The hospital offers a broad range of health services and is recognized for excellence in emergency care; high-risk obstetrical and neonatal care; cardiac and vascular interventional care oncology care; several surgical specialties; and a number of specialized services for children.. The Shady Grove Adventist Emergency Center in Germantown provides emergency medical care to more than 35,000 residents each year. Shady Grove Adventist Hospital is part of Maryland-based Adventist HealthCare, an integrated health care delivery system that is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland.

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