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Physicians trade lab coats for tutus and race for great cause

Nearly two dozen physicians traded their white lab coats for red tutus and raced for a worthy cause at Florida Hospital Orlando on Wednesday.

The physicians participated in the inaugural Docs’ Red Skirt Run, racing one another to help raise money for the American Heart Association’s Greater Orlando Heart Walk. The walk is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 10 at the University of Central Florida.

The race had a twist — physicians could buy disadvantages for their competitors, such as a three-second delay, or wearing a red wig and crown.

Physicians said it was a fun and important way to not only raise funds, but increase awareness specifically about women’s heart health.

“Heart disease has typically always been associated as a male disease, but more than half of the cardiovascular events are actually in females. This is just to highlight it’s not just a male disease, it’s actually an everyone disease, particularly women,” said Dr. Rajesh Shah.

The Red Skirt Run raised more than $4,700 for the upcoming Heart Walk, adding to the more than $40,000 raised at Florida Hospital Orlando through other initiatives.

As a Life is Why sponsor, Florida Hospital partners with the American Heart Association to raise awareness about the warning signs of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, as well as prevention education.

The Greater Orlando Heart Walk raises more than $1 million annually and typically sees a turnout of nearly 18,000 walkers, making it one of Central Florida’s largest fundraisers. 

“One of the ways that Florida Hospital extends the healing ministry of Christ beyond the walls of the hospital is by supporting charitable organizations and fundraisers, both corporately and through employee giving and participation,” said Yamile Luna, assistant vice president of Florida Hospital Community Impact.

“The American Heart Association’s mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. This aligns perfectly with Florida Hospital’s dedication to provide high-quality cardiac care to the patients we serve and promote healthy living — mind, body and spirit.”

Visit http://GreaterOrlandoHeartWalk.org to sign up for the Heart Walk.