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Campaign to help lower heart disease, stroke risk kicks off at Fifth-Third Bank

Hundreds of bank employees hoping to make a difference kicked off a special campaign to help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke downtown Wednesday. (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Hundreds of bank employees hoping to make a difference kicked off a special campaign to help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke downtown Wednesday.

Those employees are all part of teams supporting the American Heart Association. They work at hundreds of banking branches and locations all around our community.

The hope is to raise money and awareness of how to fight this disease, and they took the first step Wednesday.

It wasn't the typical morning meeting for the group of employees at Fifth-Third in Fountain Square. But, then again, what they launched wasn't too typical either.

"We are conducting the Pass the Baton Walk, which encourages all our employees to walk a minimum of 15 minutes at a designated time during February--heart month--and our goal is to walk 530,000 minutes at a minimum," said Fifth-Third employee, Bob Shaffer.

Along the walk, they hope to encourage others to take the next step to improve their own health. The hope is good habits will be contagious.

"We're literally in partnership with the American Heart Association and are looking for the first time to engage all 18,000 of our employees," said employee Scenario Adebesin.

The goal here, however, isn't just to have a footprint within a corporation or a company; it's to change the heart health of our community and many others, and there's a couple simple steps some have learned could make a difference along the way. In fact, if you stop in at any bank branch, for $1 you can buy a heart, and the money goes to support research and education at the American Heart Association.

"The American Heart Association's pretty important to our family and heart health," said employee Samantha Burris.

Part of the campaign is also to provide free blood pressure checks at area branches as part of the American Heart Association's program "Check, Change, Control."

So here's to everyone who knows every 1,000-mile journey begins with the first step.


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