Move with the Mayor

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City Spotlight: West Chicago, IL

While heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., it is often preventable. Walking is one of the easiest ways to lower one’s chances of heart disease and its risk factors, like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. That's is why the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention is working with mayors across the country to host the Move with the Mayor Challenge, a World Heart Day-inspired campaign that asks citizens to take literal steps to improve their health by walking during the month of September.


Research shows that walking as little as 30 minutes a day can significantly reduce one’s risk for heart disease and stroke. Yet, many Americans do not know that a half hour walk can cut their risk for cardiovascular disease or find it hard to free up 30 minutes in their busy day to walk.  The Move with the Mayor Challenge works to show that even busy people, like the Mayor, make time for their heart health. 

World Heart Day: A Celebration of Heart Disease Prevention

World Heart Day takes place every year on September 29 and offers people across the globe the opportunity to take part in the world's biggest intervention against cardiovascular disease (CVD). This year’s theme focuses on creating “heart-healthy environments” to ensure that people everywhere have the chance to make healthy heart choices – be it in life, at work or while at play. World Heart Day was created 2000 by the World Heart Federation, a non-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland committed to reducing premature CVD mortality by 25% by the year 2025. 

The National Forum’s World Heart Day Campaign

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In its second year, our World Heart Day: Move with the Mayor Challenge extends the celebration’s one-day impact by making heart disease the focal point of communities throughout the month of September. This year (2016), five cities will participate in this campaign: 

Green Bay, WI

Columbia, SC

Oklahoma City, OK 

Lorain, OH

West Chicago, IL


Ursula Bauer, director, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at CDC (center) thanks Bellin Health for being a Million Hearts partner. L-R Deborah Armbruster, interim director and health officer, Brown County Health Dept.; Anne Hale, VP System Quality, Bellin; Bauer; Andrea Werner, VP Heart, Lung & Vascular Services, Bellin; Maggie Burkhart, Heart, Lung and Vascular Clinical Coordinator, Bellin.

Move with the Mayor in the News

Each city has been hard at work planning the September walks and World Heart Day Celebration. See the 2016 season in action:

Our World Heart Day History

The National Forum launched its first World Heart Day Challenge in 2014. That year, we collaborated with two local governments to host the first large-scale World Heart Day events in the U.S.

  • In Indianapolis, the National Forum encouraged Indianapolis residents to walk an extra 2,000-steps at the World Heart Day Walk with Winnie. Winnie Ballard is the first Lady of Indianapolis. This event was created after research showed that this small increase in steps cuts the risk of heart attacks and strokes by almost 10% among individuals living with or at risk for diabetes.

  • In Chicago, the National Forum worked with the city’s Department of Public Health to develop and launch Healthy Chicago, Healthy Hearts, a heart healthy action plan for the city.