Brittney Lofthouse – Staff Writer

Angel Medical Center’s 5th annual “Macon Your Heart Beat 1 mile and 5K is scheduled for this Saturday, with proceeds going to help patients who have heart or lung diseases and are in need of rehab.

“Most insurance companies cover the cost of participation but of course some don’t or only partially cover the costs leaving the patient with bills they can’t pay,” said Tom Forkner, with Angel Medical Center. “This race from the runner/walkers and the area’s generous sponsors help bridge that gap.”

All proceeds from the event help patients in need of rehab services after experiencing a life changing medical episode. The financial assistance programs help patients in need of care be able to afford the treatment they need on the road to recovery.

Angel Medical Center’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program promotes a healthier lifestyle helping to reduce the patients’ risk of future diseases or recurrence of existing ones.

“Our team consists of a medical director, exercise specialist, nurses, nutritionist, mental health counselor and a vocational rehabilitation counselor to provide safe progressive exercise and education in their specialized area to each individual patient,” said Forkner.

Eligible patients are those that have heart attacks, coronary stents, congestive heart failure, valve repair or replacement, coronary bypass, stable angina and even heart transplant, as well as most forms and levels of COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases of the lungs.  The program is supported by all area providers and all it takes to get started is a talk with the provider about this program.

Macon Your Heart Beat 5K and 1 mile run is scheduled for Saturday, March 24.  Registration is from 8:30 to the start of the 1 mile walk at 9 a.m. around town and the 3.1 mile (5K) begins at 9: 30 am.   Registration and the start/finish of each walk/run is in the parking lot across from the Angel Medical Center front entrance at 120 Riverview Street.

The entry fee  for the event is $20 for the 1 mile, and $25 for the 5K (3.1mile).  All registrants receive a custom cotton T-Shirt and healthy light refreshments after the walk/run.  Winners of the 5K in each 10 year age group and overall winners will receive a beautiful custom oak engraved plaque.

For more information about the assistance program or to determine your eligibility, contact Tom Forkner at Angel Medical Center at (828)349-8290.