2013 Heart Ball Chaired by LathamsSeptember 27, 2012
The American Heart Association is gearing up for next year’s Hot Springs Heart Ball with the start-up of the 2012/2013 sweetheart program sponsored by National Park Medical Center, and plans underway for the 2013 Heart Ball scheduled for Saturday, March 2, at Horner Hall.
Chairing this year’s Heart Ball are general surgeon, Dr. Christian Latham and his wife, Mary. Mary is a Hot Springs native and graduate of Lakeside High School. She and Christian met at UAMS while pursuing their medical careers, and moved back to Hot Springs five years ago. They have three children: Lauren, 6; Ryan, 3; and Libby Claire, 7 months. Mary is nurse practitioner by trade and also enjoys instructing youth tennis.
Mary’s passion for the American Heart Association and the fight against heart disease stems from the loss of a close high school friend to heart disease. Mary’s friend, Michelle Bartlett, died with an undetected heart condition in her early 20s. Mary’s involvement with the American Heart Association began in 2011 when she served as the chairperson for the AHA’s “Have a Heart for Art” program, which began in 2009 in memory of Michelle.
The Lathams are placing an emphasis on heart health education during this year’s Heart Ball season, which has been themed “Keep Calm, Heart Strong”. The Heart Ball committee is arranging various community education events throughout the heart ball season. The Sweethearts will assist by providing heart health information at the upcoming Lake Hamilton Community Health Fair scheduled for Saturday, October 6th from 9-11 am at the Lake Hamilton Intermediate gym. They will also provide heart health educational materials at the November 17th Spa Pacers 5K children’s event—the “Spa Squirt”.
The Lathams are also particularly passionate about starting a conversation between the medical community and area school administrators regarding athletic screenings for students. They want to encourage all area schools to screen for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) for their student athletes. HCM is a condition in which the heart muscle thickens, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood. HCM is believed to be a genetic defect, and typically effects younger people (under the age of 30). Some individuals have no symptoms at all, but symptoms may include chest pain, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, light-headedness especially with or after activity or exercise, palpitations and shortness of breath with activity or after lying down. The Lathams want to use their tenure as heart ball chairs ensure that HCM screenings are being done accurately and appropriately in our area schools.
The Hot Springs Heart Ball is an annual event held to help raise funds for the AHA’s fight against heart disease through their mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The AHA achieves their mission through both education and research. They have set an aggressive national health goal — to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent, all by the year 2020. To achieve this, they are targeting programs, educational resources and advocacy initiatives to help people identify and adopt healthier lifestyle choices. They have also developed an online health assessment, MyLifeCheck.org, to help people figure out their cardiovascular health in just a few minutes — and take steps to improve it.
Assisting the Lathams in planning the 2013 Heart Ball are the heart ball committee, which consists of Brenda Dudley, Susan Blount, Michelle Bell, Kimberly Hall, Kellie Glisson, Heather Murphy, Kate Hamner, Amanda Menotti, Lauren Warren, Lauren McWilliams, Heath Chambers, Norma Chambers, Serethia Crawford, Dick Antoine, Michael Mueller, Mandy Golleher, Karen Query, Kathryn Russell, Ashley Campbell and Tera Anderson.
For additional information about the heart ball, call Brenda Dudley with the American Heart Association at 903-490-4230 or email email@example.com.
In Photo: The 2013 American Heart Association Hot Springs Heart Ball Chairs are Mary and Dr. Christian Latham.