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Tickets to a football game? Maybe a new pair of shoes? A heart screen costs approximately the same amount as these items. The difference? A 30-minute heart screen could save your life. By checking your heart’s health, you gain life-saving knowledge to guide you to a heart-healthy life. Call (937) 395-8492 to schedule your heart screen today. Your heart is worth it.

WELCOME Dear Reader, Go Red for Women celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and has made an impact on women’s health in the Miami Valley. Since Go Red began, statistics show: 21 percent fewer women die from heart disease each year, 23 percent more women are aware that heart disease is their No. 1 killer, and 89 percent of women have made at least one healthy behavior change by taking a pledge on the Go Red web site. The American Heart Association partners with all major health networks in the area to improve our residents’ heart health. Montgomery County Public Health Department data shows that deaths caused by heart disease dropped 7 percent in the past decade. But type II diabetes and obesity rates continue to rise – both are risk factors for heart disease – so the fight is far from over. Through local events such as the Go Red for Women Luncheon, the Greater

Dayton 5K Heart Walk, the Dayton Heart Ball and others, we encourage men and women to take charge of their health. These events shared vital educational messages that helped lower t he deat h rate from heart disease in both men and women in the Miami Valley. The AHA’s mission is to build healthier lives free of heart disease and stroke, and we want everyone to “know their numbers” and learn about risk factors. For more information, visit

CONTENTS 4 2014 Local Events 5 Leadership Giving Society 6 Survivor Profiles 7 Volunteer On the cover: The Leadership Giving Society. For the full list of members, read the Cover Story, From the Heart, on page 5. Cover photo by John A. Rossi.

A special thanks to the organizations that advertised to show their support of this inaugural publication.

Published in partnership with

—Edward P. Syron, Ph.D

714 East Monument Ave. Suite 131 Dayton, OH 45402 Tel: (937) 329-9060

Director Quality Innovation, Premier Health Chairman, American Heart Association, Miami Valley Division Board of Directors






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2014 Local Events American Heart Month February This is a month devoted to heart health each year and the perfect time to remind loved ones to “love our hearts.”

Meet Our Community Leaders “The Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine is committed to advancing medical

Go Red Kickoff

research in cardiovascular diseases. We are

Feb. 6, 5:30-7pm Location TBD Kick off American Heart Month with a free celebration open to the public that includes a health and wellness expo with vendors and healthy food.

honored to join with the AHA in building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.” – Marjorie Bowman, M.D., M.P.A. - Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, 2014 Heart Ball Chair

National Wear Red Day Feb. 7 National Wear Red Day is a public awareness day urging everyone to “Go Red” to bring attention to heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women. Heart disease and stroke claim more women’s lives annually than the next four causes of death combined. Help us make the Miami Valley “Go Red” by wearing something red. Go Red For Women® and commit to reduce risk, improve health and save women’s lives.

“I chose to make the commitment to increase awareness among women. We can beat the odds of dying from cardiovascular disease. My hope is to help communicate the choices we have as women – to practice healthy life-style habits – so we can be there for the ones we love most.” – Robin Rutledge Registered Nurse, M.S. - Premier Health, 2014 Go Red for Women Chair

19th Annual Dayton Heart Ball March 22, 6pm Sinclair Community College Ponitz Center This premier black-tie event is filled with good food, incredible auction items, great company and grand entertainment for a great cause. The 2014 Heart Ball will continue to build upon its success and will have an exclusive attendance of 400 individuals from local companies to raise funds for vital research and education.

Go Red for Women Luncheon May 8, 10am-1pm Sinclair Community College Ponitz Center At the Go Red for Women luncheon and health and wellness expo, guests will have the opportunity to participate in health screenings and interact with health care professionals about topics such as blood pressure, cholesterol, fitness and nutrition and stroke prevention. Women will also tell their real life stories about their experiences and how heart disease has changed their lives.

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“I have become involved because I truly believe in the cause, in the many people who support it, and in the strength and the faith demonstrated by the many people who are impacted by heart disease and stroke.” – Steve Hess - LexisNexis, 2014 Heart Walk Chair

Greater Dayton 5K Heart Walk/Run September 2014 Fifth Third Field, Downtown Dayton Attended by more than 5,000 people, this premier fundraising event for the American Heart Association is the second largest of its kind in the Dayton area. It features a health and wellness area, a fun and interactive kids zone and fun run, a survivor area and a 5K walk and run.

Go Red Goes North September 2014, 10am-1pm Fort Piqua Plaza Banquet Center, Piqua The corporate health and wellness event and luncheon will inspire local men and women to fight heart disease. Health care professionals and company representatives will offer health screenings, fitness and nutrition information and health and wellness demos. The luncheon includes a heart-healthy lunch, inspiring stories of hope and a keynote speaker.



he American Heart Association’s Leadership Giving Society is fighting heart disease and stroke with an education and awareness battle plan to significantly improve the health of Dayton area residents. As members of Circle of Red, Red Tie and Dayton Heart Societies, the society’s men and women have resources to donate funding and their personal time to help find a cure for heart disease and stroke, which are the No. 1 and No. 4 killers of women, men and children in the United States. “Everyone knows someone that has had some cardiovascular disease,” says John Moyer, owner of First Light Home Care and a member of the Leadership Giving Society. In this country, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds and someone dies each minute from a heart disease-related event. Part of Moyer’s involvement is personal since heart disease runs in his family, and he has a stint after a procedure showed blockage. For three years, Moyer has supported the AHA with his involvement on the Executive Leadership Committee and as last year’s chair of the Dayton Heart Ball. Moyer, a serial entrepreneur, knows that the AHA’s mission isn’t about benefitting a business and that’s just fine. “[The AHA] is one of the few fundraising organizations for diseases where their administration costs are much lower. The majority of the money they raise stays in Dayton.” As a five-year member of the Leadership Giving Society, Barbara Johnson, who is Premier Health’s system vice president of

“The AHA locally is a phenomenal organization. They’re passionate about what they do. They’re an amazing team.” — Barbara Johnson, vice president of human resource operations at Premier Health

The Leadership Giving Society. Bottom row (left to right): Joe Carfora, Boston Scientific; Sabrina Dean, Premier Health Upper Valley Medical Center; Barbara Johnson, Premier Health; Matt Scarr, Matt Scarr, C.P.A. LLC. Middle row: Robin Rutledge, Premier Health; Cameron McGregor, Premier Health; Becky Wang, M.D., Kettering Health Network; Dean Marjorie Bowman, M.B., M.P.A., Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine; John Moyer, First Light Home Care. Back row: Byron Wade, VA Medical Center; Khalid Elased, PharmD., Ph.D., Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine; Teri Huber, Huber Investments; Frank Rosen, Medtronic; Pam Morris, Caresource; Jayne Testa, Kettering Health Network; Lawrence Prochaska, Ph.D., Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine; Toni Bankston, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. Not Pictured: Becky Alejandrino; Amy Anderson; Pam Benjamin; Chuck Berry; George Broderick, M.D.; Mukul Chandra, M.D.; Robert Copeland; Debbie Corson; Julie Broerman Daniels; Erik Freudenberg; Mary Garman; Harvey Hahn, M.D.; Susie Homan; David Joffe, M.D.; James Pacenta, M.D.; Arthur Pickoff, M.D.; Ken Prunier; Michael Shane; Lynn Schoen; Ed Syron, Ph.D.; Thomas Thornton, M.D.; and Brenda Wade.

human resource operations, says it was natural for her to get involved. “Building a healthier community is what we’re about,” says Johnson. “The AHA is a phenomenal organization. They’re passionate about what they do and they’re an amazing team.” Also a Heart Walk team leader and a member of the Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Committee, she hopes her corporate sponsorship will move research and education ahead. “Educating the public about the No. 1 and No. 4 killers is paramount,” she adds. Mike Shane, chairman of Lastar, Inc. and AHA board member, got involved when he was asked to chair the 2006 Heart Walk. “Our company has a wellness program, and the Heart Walk fit with our wellness platform,” says Shane, who has struggled

with managing his weight. “My whole motivation is to get people more active to reduce death by heart attack and stroke. That’s where and why I got involved and why I stay involved.” Along with the Dayton AHA, Leadership Giving Society members are dedicated to helping get the word out about preventing heart disease and stroke. “I use the Heart Walk to raise money and create awareness, I hope my story inspires somebody to take action,” says Shane. To find out more about the Dayton Heart Society or to become a member, contact Sybil Martin at 937-853-3108 or sybil.martin@ To find out more about Circle of Red, Red Tie Society or to become a member, contact Cris Peterson at 937-853-3111 or cris. ■ G O R E D F O RWO M E N . O R G

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Survivor Profiles MICHELLE DONOHER


efore her cardiac event, Michelle Donoher thought she was a normal 47 year old. She was married to Paul, a pilot, and had two children, Shannon and Kevin. She taught dance classes to three- to six-year-olds, and she was relatively active. “The only thing I felt was what I thought was indigestion,” she says. “I had no idea. I never even thought I had a heart condition.” One Monday, while she was sitting on the ground and stretching with her ballet class, she went into cardiac arrest. The kids were ushered out and one of the fathers performed CPR while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Kevin was home for winter break and rushed to the hospital as soon as he heard. “He saw, as I was being pulled out, that they were on top of me, doing CPR. At that point, I don’t know if he knew, anybody knew, if I was dead or alive,,” says Michelle. The hospital was able to stabilize her, and then induced therapeutic hypothermia to

protect and preserve her brain cells. Paul, who had been in the air at the time, heard what happened when he landed and quickly rushed back home. By the time he arrived at the hospital, Michelle was already in an induced coma. She says, “They thought I would probably live, but they weren’t sure I would have my mental capacity. Paul came to my bedside and he started yelling my name. I guess I kind of looked over at him, he went out and said, ‘We had some eye movement.’ ” Because Michelle had been healthy up until her heart attack, doctors thought her heart had malfunctioned. They scheduled a surgery to implant a defibrillator. At the last moment, a doctor decided to give her an angiogram. They found major blockage, and the surgeons performed a double bypass. “When they opened me up, they said my heart was working at less than 15 percent,” she says. “The fact that they were able to resuscitate me at all at the beginning was a miracle.”

After her double bypass, life mostly returned to normal. She resumed teaching class in four weeks, but she still remembers what happened on that fateful day. “It makes you appreciate things,” she says. “I think we all realize that life is short and you never know what’s going to happen.” ■

“I couldn’t run. I couldn’t exercise. I felt tired and just couldn’t do it, and I kind of felt embarrassed because people would be like, ‘Why is she not running? She should be running,’ ” says Payton. When Payton entered the fifth grade, new problems began to arise. At Payton’s first volleyball game, Lisa noticed that something was wrong with her legs. “I noticed that her legs were really purple and blue,” says Lisa. At a routine medical visit, their doctor expressed concern with the same problem. He took an echocardiogram to see the blood flow in Payton’s heart. Because they used red and blue to differentiate between the veins and arteries, the echo remains memorable to Lisa. “It just looked like fireworks going off. There was just no really good pathway. It was like an explosion of fireworks,” says Lisa. Payton was in congestive heart failure. The next week, while waiting for a surgeon to return from vacation, the same doctor found a clot in Payton’s heart. She

ended up at the University of Cincinnati, where within nine days she received a heart transplant. Since then, Payton’s life has improved significantly Now 13 years old, Payton can play sports even while taking her medication. “Before my heart transplant, I could not keep up with the other kids. I was way behind. And now I’m in the lead,” she says. ■



hen Lisa Herres was pregnant with her daughter, Payton, it seemed like the perfect pregnancy. She had no morning sickness, the tests said Payton was healthy and there had been no complications. This all changed when Payton was born. “When she was delivered, they called in the NIC unit and she was blue,” says Lisa. Five hours later, a doctor came in and told Lisa and her husband, Don, that Payton had been born with a congenital heart defect. Called Ebstein’s anomaly, parts of Payton’s tricuspid valve were abnormal. Payton’s life was going to be anything but ordinary. From then on, she was put on different types of medication to control the rhythm of her heart. She went through two cardiac ablations, procedures that use catheters to correct the heart’s structural problems. Both failed. Payton and her family slowly adjusted to her medication and her frequent doctors’ visits, as well as her difficulty with physical activity. G R 6




volunteer for the American Heart Association since 1984, Lawrence Prochaska, Ph. D., knows a thing or two about heart research. He’s a researcher and a professor at Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine in its Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, where much of his focus is on heart research. His work with the Miami Valley AHA began when he was awarded a grant for heart research. “If you get known as a heart researcher, then they rope you into peer review of scientific proposals,” he says. He eventually became chair of the basic study science section, reviewing other grant proposals and ranking them

by excellence. His success led to him being appointed to the Research Oversight Committee of the Ohio Valley Affiliate. He later became chair of that board and presidentelect of the affiliate, but returned in 2000 to work with the Miami Valley AHA. He’s currently the president of the board. “I’ve always felt like the American Heart Association is very receptive to diverse points of view, “ says Prochaska. “And the leadership of the American Heart Association is all highly capable individuals and I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to work with, frankly, some of the leading heart surgeons in Ohio.” As a researcher, he typically doesn’t interact with medical doctors. The AHA has allowed him to see the impact of heart research. For example, he helped fund one of the University of Cincinnati’s early studies on clot busting drugs, medication that is now commonly used in hospitals. It’s the AHA’s commitment to research

Lawrence Prochaska, Ph. D.

and education that Prochaska enjoys the most. “It means that the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association are funding people,” says Prochaska. “And people are using the money in their research labs to cure the general populace not just in the United States but throughout the world.” ■


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Go Red for Women Dayton: 10th Anniversary  
Go Red for Women Dayton: 10th Anniversary