The Straight from the Heart Red-Tie Gala celebrated its 10th anniversary on Feb. 15 at LaCentre Conference & Banquet Facility in Westlake.
Proceeds from the event support the regional heart centers at Fairview Hospital, Lakewood Hospital and Lutheran Hospital in the Cleveland Clinic Health System.
More than 500 guests attended the event, headed by Anthony Vlastaris, M.D., regional medical director of cardiovascular services for the Cleveland Clinic. David Dombrowiak, president of the Community West Foundation, hosted the evening’s Heart Throb raffle, which gave away a grand prize of $100,000. Raffle presenters included Neil Smith, D.O., president of Fairview Hospital; Shannan Ritchie, interim president of Lakewood Hospital; and Donald Malone, M.D., president of Lutheran Hospital. The evening’s master of ceremonies was Monica Robins, senior health correspondent for WKYC-TV 3.
Donations from Straight from the Heart over the past 10 years have surpassed $2 million. Last year’s funds were used to develop a regional pulmonary rehabilitation program, as well as a pilot program for heart failure patients to help with symptom recognition to prevent hospital readmissions. A wellness program was implemented in the West Side communities to inform and educate families on the value of a balanced, nutritious diet and the benefits of exercise.
Straight from the Heart funds have also been used to supply the Cleveland Metroparks with automated external defibrillators, and to provide mobile echo and vascular ultrasound procedures at the bedside of patients in area nursing homes. A real-time EKG transmission system for Lakewood and Fairview hospitals enables paramedics in the field to transmit pre-hospital EKGs directly to the emergency room.