Lynx Raise Awareness of Heart Disease

The Minnesota Lynx and Boston Scientific are teaming up during the 2009 season to educate fans and the local community about heart disease and disparities in care for women and minorities. Beginning July 2 when Minnesota takes on the Sacramento Monarchs at Target Center, 2O09 Lynx home games will feature Boston Scientific's Close the Gap campaign and various heart health awareness activities. Close the Gap is a national educational initiative dedicated to addressing heart health issues and disparities in black Americans, Latino Americans and women.

On July 2, the official "Close the Gap Night," Lynx game will include giveaway items and other promotional activities to raise awareness of heart health disparities. The Lynx also will launch a video blog on www.lynxbasketball.com that follows Lynx head coach Jennifer Gillom throughout the summer to record the steps she takes to reduce her own heart disease risk factors.

"Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women, and the symptoms often aren't identified until it's too late," said Gillom. "We all need to play a role in educating others about heart disease risks and symptoms, particularly among women and minorities."

Close the Gap activities to be featured at Lynx home games throughout the season include:

Ask a cardiologist - At July home games, a cardiologist will staff a Close the Gap booth where fans can ask questions and receive tips for improving heart health.

Faces of Heart - In August, the Lynx will launch a campaign spotlighting people living with heart disease and survivors of sudden cardiac arrest and their inspiring stories.

Everyday Heroes - Boston Scientific will be the presenting sponsor of the Lynx "Everyday Heroes" platform, which will recognize five community members for their contributions in the fight against heart disease.

Choose to Move - In-game promotions will encourage fans to get up and DANCE during August games to join the fight against heart disease by being active.

Build-a-Bear - The Lynx will host a Build-A-Bear event for children suffering from heart disease in September.

Kids Clinic and Reading Timeout - Lynx players and coaches will host a basketball clinic for kids suffering from heart disease. The kids will then participate in a reading timeout with Coach Gillom.

Close the Gap Heart Health Tip - PSAs featuring Lynx players and coaches providing facts about heart disease and a tip on improving heart health will air during home games.

Minnesota Lynx Chief Operating Officer, Conrad Smith said, "We're proud to be a part of the Close the Gap campaign and to partner with Boston Scientific to be our 2009 community sponsor. Women's heart health is an important issue for all of us and we look forward to educating fans about heart disease through our season-long campaign."

"Boston Scientific is excited to be the presenting sponsor of the Lynx "Close the Gap" community relations platform in 2009. Close the Gap is an important campaign in the fight against heart disease and represents our commitment as a company to positive patient outcomes," said Fred Colen, president of Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM) at Boston Scientific.

Hank Kucheman, president of the cardiovascular division of Boston Scientific added, "Boston Scientific has been a part of the Twin Cities community for more than 25 years and we're committed to raising awareness of heart disease in every community where we operate. Education on heart health is critical to closing the gap in care among minorities and we're dedicated to working with the Lynx to achieve that goal."

Close the Gap is led by a steering committee of leading physicians from across the country. In addition to the Minnesota Lynx, other organizations actively working with the Close the Gap initiative include WomenHeart, Black Coaches and Administrators (BCA), the Association of Black Cardiologists, the Athlete's Heartbeat and theSudden Cardiac Arrest Association. Several National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) member schools also are supporting Close the Gap efforts, including the University of Minnesota.

For more information on the Close the Gap campaign and its involvement with the Minnesota Lynx, please visit www.heart-health-disparities.org or www.lynxbasketball.com.
For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Lynx on Twitter.
Only in MN Explore Minnesota