Two Fort Wayne Companies Join Forces to Combat Obesity, Heart Disease

Fort Wayne, IN, September 11, 2009 --( Parkview Health and Physicians Health Plan (PHP) today announced they have partnered with the American Heart Association (AHA) to increase health awareness in the Fort Wayne community. Parkview and PHP have aligned with the AHA Start! program, which is a national cause movement that calls on individuals and employers to look for opportunities to participate in physical activity and promote wellness to live longer, healthier lives. The American Heart Association works to reduce disability and death from heart disease and stroke.

“Parkview is pleased to be a partner with PHP and the American Heart Association as we work together to improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Sue Ehinger, Chief Operating Officer, Parkview Hospital. “We look forward to businesses and the public getting involved in exercise programs that will enhance lifestyles and the quality of life in our region.”

“Employers face increasing healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity that nationwide cost an estimated $225.8 billion a year,” said Jay Gilbert, President and CEO, PHP. “Supporting the Start! program in addition to the many other wellness benefits PHP offers is another way to help businesses to get employees and families walking for health. Partnering with the American Heart Association and Parkview is a great way to pool our efforts and resources to raise awareness.”

Start! offers a year-round walking program open to individuals; an online walking buddy system; a Start! Fit-Friendly Companies program that awards companies who have integrated healthy behaviors into the workplace; and Lifestyle Change Awards that acknowledge residents who have made healthy changes to their lives. The Start! initiative is being integrated into Heart Walks across the country. The Northeast Indiana Start! Heart Walk will be held September 19 at Franke Park.

Fort Wayne area businesses and individuals interested in getting involved or learning more about the Start! program or theStart! Heart Walk may contact Michael Stetzel at (260) 437-9034 or visit

American Heart Association
Wendy Kking