More than 200 Participants of the “Heart 2 Heart Walk,” turned Christiansted red on Friday in celebration of American Heart Month. The walk was a collaborative effort between the Department of Health Division of Chronic Disease and Prevention and the Office of the Governor through the Division of Personnel.
The walk began at the D.C Canegata Recreation Complex and lead the crowd through the bypass onto the police station and turned back to head to the recreation complex. In a silent party style, participants wore headphones and danced to music while a DJ and MC provided entertainment.
“Being able to create this walk with the Division of Personnel creates opportunities in the community to encourage living a healthy lifestyle by being able to work out. Also recognizing that heart disease is around us and being able to take care of our heart and our community is important,” said Diabetes Program Manager David Delgado.
Participants walked, danced and supported each other in celebration of getting their body moving. On the way back halfway through the walk, Zumba instructor Roberta Jeffrey-Etienne led the crowd in some choreography. After the walk, participants enjoyed healthy treats of fruits and water.
Based on a recent community health assessment conducted by the VIDOH, the leading causes of death in the U.S. Virgin Islands were heart disease, cancer, homicide, and unintentional injuries. In 2017, the top cause of premature death was homicide, and the second was heart disease, with 1,080.8 years of potential life lost before the age of 75 per 100,000 residents.