BRIGHTON — February has been linked to heart health since it was designated American Heart Month in 1964, with the goal of raising awareness of cardiovascular disease- the No. 1 killer of all Americans.
According to reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, Native Americans have good reason to take Heart Month’s message seriously. The reports found that Native Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease than whites since the risk factors, including high blood pressure, obesity and cigarette smoking, are more prevalent among Native Americans.
To help spread the message and educate Tribal members about how to prevent heart disease, throughout the month the health department held events on every reservation including wear red day photo ops, heart walks and blood pressure checks.
Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School stepped up and jumped up in the annual Jump Rope for Heart celebration Feb.15. To attend the event, students needed to raise at least $25 for the American Heart Association. Those who raised at least $50 got to douse dean Emma Johns with the makings of a chocolate sundae.
Together, the students raised about $5,000 (as well as their heart rates) during the celebration. Students participated in single, long and Chinese jump ropes. Others preferred a rousing dance party on the gym’s stage, a challenging limbo line or trying to master the Hula Hoop.