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United Way funds Reach Out and Read in Lucas, Wood counties

United Way of Greater Toledo once again has awarded funding for Reach Out and Read in Lucas County and has added funding for program enhancement and expansion in Wood County.

Reach Out and Read of Northwest Ohio, coordinated by The University of Toledo Department of Pediatrics, gives young children from birth to age 5 a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.

UT Pediatric Resident Dr. Joseph Giancarlo participated in Reach Out and Read by providing a new book to Rocket Pediatrics patient Jasper Vaez and his mother, Abigail.

UT Pediatric Resident Dr. Joseph Giancarlo participated in Reach Out and Read by providing a new book to Rocket Pediatrics patient Jasper Vaez and his mother, Abigail.

“United Way funding allows primary care physicians and staff to pair a valuable tool — a developmentally appropriate book — with the message to parents that creating a language-rich home environment is a crucial step to ensure ready-for-school kids,” said Dr. Valarie Stricklen, UT associate professor of pediatrics and medical director of Rocket Pediatrics.

With new funding for Wood County, Reach Out and Read of Northwest Ohio will add more partner sites and expand its community reach, said Lori LeGendre, program director of Reach Out and Read of Northwest Ohio.

“Medical providers teaching parents about the importance of literacy in daily routines is an important step to not only develop kids who are ready to learn, but who will also grow up to be better advocates for their own health,” LeGendre said.

There are currently 25 participating medical offices in northwest Ohio, including the UT Health Rocket Pediatrics sites. The local program distributes more than 26,000 new books each year.

Founded in 1989, Reach Out and Read is a national nonprofit organization that partners with more than 5,800 sites around the country and distributes 6.8 million books each year.

For more information about the local initiative, visit facebook.com/RORNWO or contact LeGendre at lori.legendre@utoledo.edu or 419.383.4007.

UTMC honors longtime volunteer, thanks others who help

The University of Toledo Medical Center celebrated its volunteers with a luncheon recently at the Radisson Hotel on Health Science Campus during National Volunteer Week.

Patty MacAllister, support services coordinator, center left, presented the first Frances Clinton Service Award to Clinton’s sisters, Paulette Smietana, left, and Mary Ann Nappens, and niece Paige.

Patty MacAllister, support services coordinator, center left, presented the first Frances Clinton Service Award to Clinton’s sisters, Paulette Smietana, left, and Mary Ann Nappens, and niece Paige.

UTMC has about 200 volunteers, who average 3,000 hours of combined service each month and assist 116 departments.

To honor longtime volunteer Frances Clinton, who passed away this year, UTMC established the Frances Clinton Service Award. Clinton’s family received the first Frances Clinton Service Award at the luncheon.

Going forward, the award will be presented to the UTMC volunteer with the most service hours — more than 500 — for the year. Clinton started volunteering at UTMC in 1993 and logged a total of 18,000 service hours.

Patty MacAllister, support services coordinator, left, handed out certificates to, from left, Dr. Don Godfrey, UT professor emeritus of neurology, Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites Auxiliary, and Don Lemle, who were recognized at the UTMC Volunteer Luncheon for completing more than 500 service hours in 2015.

Patty MacAllister, support services coordinator, left, handed out certificates to, from left, Dr. Don Godfrey, UT professor emeritus of neurology, Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites Auxiliary, and Don Lemle, who were recognized at the UTMC Volunteer Luncheon for completing more than 500 service hours in 2015.

“Frances volunteered in several different departments over the years and was known for her beautiful smile that could light up a room,” said Patty MacAllister, support services coordinator in the Service Excellence Department. “She was greatly appreciated and greatly missed by all who knew her.”

Volunteers who completed more than 500 service hours in 2015 also were recognized at the event: Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites Auxiliary; Dr. Don Godfrey, UT professor emeritus of neurology; Yonggil Jang; Vinay Kotturi; Don Lemle; Tawik Obri; Amanjyot Sidhu; and Gheith Yousif.

Matt Schroeder, chief of staff to UT President Sharon L. Gaber, spoke at the event and expressed his gratitude toward UTMC’s volunteers for their contributions to the hospital.

For more information about UTMC Volunteer Services, contact MacAllister at patricia.mac2@utoledo.edu or 419.383.6336.

UT Health cardiologists give pioneering heart exam to gorilla at Toledo Zoo

The largest of all primates at the Toledo Zoo turned out to be the perfect patient, only hairier.

“Working with a gorilla was a scary and exciting experience,” said Dr. Samer Khouri, UT Health cardiologist and director of cardiac imaging. “We were in a controlled environment, but Kwisha is a 470-pound, muscular creature. He is so powerful that his hand has the ability to crush all the bones in my hand with one squeeze.”

Amy Lather, an ultrasound technician at UT Medical Center, conducted an ultrasound on Kwisha the gorilla at the Toledo Zoo as Dr. Qaiser Shafiq, a cardiology fellow in the University training program, center, watched.  

Amy Lather, an ultrasound technician at UT Medical Center, conducted an ultrasound on Kwisha the gorilla at the Toledo Zoo as Dr. Qaiser Shafiq, a cardiology fellow in the University training program, center, watched.  

Several cardiologists, anesthesiologist Dr. Andrew Casabianca, and ultrasound technician Amy Lather from The University of Toledo Medical Center recently volunteered their human health-care expertise for the 27-year-old male western lowland gorilla.

“Heart disease is a global problem facing great apes,” Dr. Kirsten Thomas, Toledo Zoo associate veterinarian, said. “The UTMC team was brought in to provide a new and unique measurement of cardiac health in great apes.”

“We take pride in the high-quality care we provide our animals here at the Toledo Zoo,” Jeff Sailer, Toledo Zoo executive director, said. “This collaboration with UTMC offered an additional level of imaging and cardiac expertise helping us to provide the best possible care for Kwisha.”

Under the oversight of zoo veterinarians, the UT team conducted a comprehensive heart exam while Kwisha was under anesthesia. The specialists gave the gorilla a clean bill of health with no immediate issues that need to be addressed.

Kwisha in 2013 in this photo courtesy of Andi Norman/Toledo Zoo

Kwisha in 2013 in this photo courtesy of Andi Norman/Toledo Zoo

“Kwisha’s pictures look good,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, executive vice president for clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “We were happy to help. This also was a terrific opportunity for us to learn more from a highly related, yet nonhuman primate about cardiac performance.”

“A gorilla’s heart is almost the same as a human heart — only bigger,” Khouri said. “We followed the same principles, but this checkup was anything but routine. What’s amazing to me is how similar gorillas are to us physically.”

The silverback gorilla’s screening included an echocardiogram and a strain test, which is believed to have been the first strain analysis ever done on an ape.

“It’s a more sensitive and more accurate test,” Khouri said. “The process takes a detailed look at the contraction of heart muscle. We can detect any problem in the heart before it’s apparent in a regular echo.”

“To the best of our knowledge, the strain test has not previously been performed in great apes, and is a novel approach to measuring cardiac function in these animals,” Thomas said. “The collective efforts of the UTMC cardiac team and Toledo Zoo veterinary staff has provided us the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of great ape research.”

Khouri plans to publish the new data soon and hopes to expand the work to include more apes to advance knowledge about heart function.

“This is an important first step for research to compare a gorilla to human heart contraction and function,” Khouri said. “Doing this special analysis makes us proud. Taking care of this kind of animal shows that every life on the planet deserves respect and highlights how similar we are to all creatures on earth.”

Scholarship created to honor 39-year-old UTMC doctor dying from cancer

One year shy of finishing his surgical residency at The University of Toledo Medical Center, Dr. Cyrus Chan is facing death with courage at his home in hospice care.

“I feel the end is approaching,” said Chan, a California native who is battling stage IV colon cancer. “I keep a positive attitude, but I know the outcome. My mom likes to feel there is a glimmer of hope. I am more realistic.”

Chan

Chan

“We are hoping there is a miracle out there,” said his mother, Maria Chan, in the living room of the doctor’s suburban Holland home, where a hospital bed has been placed next to the couch.

“I am trying to live each day as it comes and make the best of it,” Chan said. “The table has completely turned. I have absolutely no control. I am beginning to feel the grip that cancer has on me. It is something I have accepted.”

Chan’s transformation from life-saving doctor to terminal patient has touched his fellow surgeons with the unpredictability of life.

“He is a brilliant surgeon who has helped heal so many patients, and he is extremely kind to medical students,” said Dr. Tahir Jamil, chief surgical resident at UTMC. “Seeing such a close friend and such a good human being have such a terrible condition has hit home for all of us. We’re devastated.”

Chan began his general surgery residency at UT in 2009.

Dr. Cyrus Chan, center, at his home with his parents, Maria Chan, right, who lives in San Francisco, and Channy Chan, who lives in China.

Dr. Cyrus Chan, center, at his home with his parents, Maria Chan, right, who lives in San Francisco, and Channy Chan, who lives in China.

A year and a half ago, Chan felt a pain on his left side. He thought maybe he pulled a muscle while skiing. However, when the pain persisted along with sudden weight loss and blood in his stool, he knew something was wrong. A colonoscopy uncovered malignant tumors. He was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 37.

Surgery to remove the cancer further revealed it had spread to the liver. Intensive chemotherapy and radiation did not keep it at bay for long. On Feb. 25, 2016, surgeons found hundreds of tumors all over Chan’s abdominal wall and small bowel. He said the largest was three centimeters and encased his small bowel.

“I have been honored and privileged to work with Cyrus,” Dr. Thomas Schwann, UTMC interim chair and professor of surgery, said. “Cyrus is not a ‘Hollywood’ sort of a surgeon. He is not loud and boisterous. He is quietly effective.”

Jamil and fellow resident Dr. Steve Stanek came up with a way to ensure Chan’s legacy lives on.

While Chan is still alive, his friends and colleagues have created an endowed scholarship for medical students and an endowed award for residents that will be presented annually through The University of Toledo Foundation in Chan’s name. The money will be given to people with the same gifts as Chan.

“He is not only a compassionate doctor with his patients. Cyrus has won several awards for teaching,” Jamil said. “The money will be for students and residents committed to surgery and to taking the time to educate others about College of Medicine.”

As of April 8, 237 people donated a total of $28,871 to the GoFundMe account for the Cyrus Chan Legacy Scholarship. The UT Foundation also has collected $38,495 from 35 private donors all over the world, including Trinity College in Ireland, where Cyrus attended medical school.

“I have rarely seen a groundswell of support like this,” said Howard Newman, associate vice president for development on Health Science Campus with The University of Toledo Foundation. “This is a tragic situation, and people have found a way to light a candle in the darkness. They’re going to make a difference to the future of residents and medical students at our College of Medicine.”

“He has touched the lives of so many people. It’s amazing that so many people are giving back,” Jamil said. “The smile on his face is priceless.”

UT also plans to give Chan an honorary degree.

“If he had not become sick, he would’ve graduated in June,” Mary Burda, UT residency education coordinator, said. “Our hearts are broken.”

“I feel honored,” Chan said. “I cannot put into words how much I love them and all they have done for me. It makes me feel special to know that everything I have done for the University and contributed to the residency program has left a mark.”

As he struggles with daily aches and pain, Chan finds the strength to remain optimistic.

Chinese characters cross the top of the twin-sized comforter on the hospital bed in his living room. They mean “luck, love, fortune.”

He hopes others learn from his difficult journey.

“Be happy with what you have and enjoy life as much as you can,” Chan said. “Don’t take anything for granted. Love your friends and family. Tell them you love them now and often.”

Local program aids cancer patients

Constantly working to better the lives of patients, The University of Toledo’s Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center is known for making a difference.

The Get Well Award is a distinction given to health-care centers offering impactful services to their patients by the northwest Ohio regional chapter of the American Cancer Society. This honor was bestowed to the Toledo Road to Recovery program, a service provided by the society giving cancer patients rides to and from their doctor’s appointments when they are unable to drive or obtain rides.

Road to RecoveryThe initiative was started in the mid-1970s by a group of volunteers in central Massachusetts. After being adopted by the American Cancer Society, it was renamed Road to Recovery in 1982. Within a year, it had provided transportation for 1,640 patients.

When the program was introduced in northwest Ohio, The University of Toledo’s Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center was chosen as a pilot for Lucas County because of the existing collaboration between the center and the society. From January to July 2015, a trial period was launched, during which time 165 rides were provided to patients. However, the program has since blossomed: It now works with all Lucas County health centers and hospitals and provided 540 rides in 2015.

american-cancer-society-logo“Transportation is one of the biggest barriers to treatment for many patients, and having this program is truly life-changing for many,” said Katie Chisholm, an oncology social worker at the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center, who coordinates program referrals and rides.

“For someone to donate time out of their own lives to help others is breath-taking, and that is what these volunteers do. There are not many transportation services available in the areas that meet our patient’s needs, which can make my job very hard in trying to help them.”

Volunteers are always needed to drive patients. To become a volunteer, an individual must be between the ages of 18 and 85, have a valid driver’s license, a properly working and insured vehicle, and must pass a background check, insurance verification, driver’s license verification and motor vehicle records check. Those interested should contact the American Cancer Society at 800.227.2345 or click here. All volunteers must complete a training session either online or at the society’s office in Perrysburg.

“One of the things I hear most is the wonderful bonds and relationships patients build with their drivers. Sometimes patients are set up with the same driver for all appointments if possible,” Chisholm said.

For more information, contact Marybeth Torsell, health promotions coordinator with the American Cancer Society East Central Division, at 888.227.6446 or marybeth.torsell@cancer.org.

UT hosts heroin overdose simulation to help fight drug epidemic

Lying passed out on the floor with a needle stuck in his arm, “Jasper” is no dummy.

It is a human simulator posing as a man who overdosed on heroin to teach medical students at The University of Toledo how to save a drug addict’s life.

Toledo Fire and Rescue Department paramedic students administered Narcan to the simulated heroin overdose patient inside the staged apartment.

Toledo Fire and Rescue Department paramedic students administered Narcan to the simulated heroin overdose patient inside the staged apartment.

In front of an audience, students training to be doctors, nurses and emergency responders were put to the test with a heroin overdose simulation in UT’s Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center on Health Science Campus.

The real-time emergency situation — from the staged apartment to the simulated hospital room — was broadcast to a crowd of recovering heroin addicts, Toledo police and fire chiefs, UT faculty and staff, and community partners to increase education about Ohio’s heroin epidemic.

“We wanted everyone to experience the high-intensity process, emotions and medical treatment of heroin overdose starting inside a home,” Tia Hornish, UT clinical simulation and education research associate, said. “By watching the situation unfold, we hope they feel a connection to what is happening to people of all ages and walks of life in our community. As health-care providers, we need to be able to understand that the heroin epidemic is not discriminating against anyone and provide resources to help addicts.”

Third-year medical student Nathan Marcinkowski led the team in a state-of-the-art medical simulation suite, which served as the ER for the heroin overdose exercise.

Third-year medical student Nathan Marcinkowski led the team in a state-of-the-art medical simulation suite, which served as the ER for the heroin overdose exercise.

EMT students got experience administering the antidote drug Narcan, which is now available at pharmacies over the counter, and transporting the patient to the simulated emergency room.

“Narcan is only temporary,” Dr. Paul Rega, assistant professor in the UT Department of Emergency Medicine, said. “It does not cure.”

Since Narcan — also known as naloxone — wears off before the overdose, medical students then took over and ran through all of the life-threatening complications that come with a drug overdose.

Students training to be doctors, nurses and physician's assistants worked together to save the human simulator suffering from complications that resulted from a heroin overdose.

Students training to be doctors, nurses and physician’s assistants worked together to save the human simulator suffering from complications that resulted from a heroin overdose.

“This is an area where you have a controlled setting with a high-fidelity simulator that can mimic a lot of conditions,” Rega said. “The students practice and when the real situation arises, they are not shocked by it. They can address it in a proper fashion.”

Third-year medical student Nathan Marcinkowski was the team leader.

“Normally, students don’t get to experience these types of situations until their residencies,” Marcinkowski said. “It’s great training for us and also a great experience for the community to be here. I know there is a lot of debate about Narcan, but I think it’s really good that people are interested in learning about this.”

This time, Jasper survived.

The simulation was a shock for Matt Bell, who sat watching in the audience.

“Five dollars’ worth of heroin almost killed me,” Bell, who overdosed in fall 2014, said. “Narcan saved my life.”

Bell is co-founder of Team Recovery, a local organization of recovering heroin addicts who are working to help other addicts get sober. Team Recovery holds family support group meetings once a week. Representatives also share their stories in school classrooms from sixth grade through college to spread prevention awareness.

“I graduated from high school with a 4.0 GPA, but dropped out of UT after pain pills from a baseball injury led me ultimately to heroin addiction,” Bell said. “There is a way out. This simulation may be scary to see, but people need to understand the severity and prevalence of what is happening inside so many homes in our area.”

Rocket Wheels now open to employees, set to return with mass ride March 16

Rocket Wheels, a bike sharing program designed by Facilities and Construction that launched last September on UT’s Main Campus, is scheduled to return for the spring Monday, March 14.

The season will kick off with a mass ride to promote Rocket Wheels Wednesday, March 16, at noon starting at the Rocket Hall bike rack located near the horse sculptures.

rocketwheels2016In case of inclement weather, a backup date has been set for Wednesday, March 23.

Around 30 bikes will be available for checkout by those who have registered for Rocket Wheels, according to Diana Watts, UT transit and Rocket Wheels bike share coordinator. Watts also encourages anyone with his or her own bike to join the mass ride.

The mass ride will be led by Tom Garey, manager of facilities information, who is an avid biker. Participants will be taken around Main Campus to become acquainted with the Rocket Wheels stations and other bike racks available to them.

“We plan on having each station sponsored by a student organization, UT department or local business to talk about their involvement and support of the Rocket Wheels program,” Watts said.

The mass ride will end at the Q, located in the Flatlands between Parks Tower and the Academic House. There will be free food and prizes, including a bike that be raffled off. Local vendors, including Wersell’s Bike and Ski Shop, Spoke Life Cycles and Jimmy Johns, will help celebrate the return of Rocket Wheels.

The entire event should last about an hour, according to Watts.

Beginning this spring, faculty and staff members will be able to join the Rocket Wheels program. Additionally, bikes can be borrowed for six hours instead of four.

“Bike riding is fun and promotes a healthy lifestyle. The Rocket Wheels Bike Share gives people the opportunity to get to class without having to use their cars and eliminates the worry of finding a parking space,” Watts said. “It also provides those who do not have cars on campus a mode of transportation to get to other places around the city.”

Students and employees can check out bikes on Main Campus at three locations: near the northeast entrance of Rocket Hall, by the south entrance of Palmer Hall, and on the northeast side of the west parking garage.

For more information or to register for Rocket Wheels, visit http://utole.do/rocketwheels.

UT students travel to Honduras for medical mission trip

The University of Toledo chapter of Global Medical Brigades, the largest student-led undergraduate medical mission trip organization in the world, spent eight days over winter break in Honduras setting up medical clinics and seeing patients.

According to Bailey Slone, president of the UT chapter, the organization treated around 850 patients during their eight days in Honduras.

Students from the UT chapter of Global Medical Brigades posed for a photo with some peers from the University of Hartford in front of a school where they setup medical clinic in Tomatin, Honduras.

Students from the UT chapter of Global Medical Brigades posed for a photo with some peers from the University of Hartford in front of a school where they setup medical clinic in Tomatin, Honduras.

“We were able to do more than we ever expected. We did not have to turn a single person away from medical care, and that was a major goal of ours,” Slone said.

Twenty members of the UT chapter joined 10 students from the University of Hartford to expand the group and share the cost of the medications they took to Honduras. For both groups, this was their first time going on a brigade, so they worked together for the duration of the trip.

Together, the students from UT and the University of Hartford were able to raise enough money to bring $8,000 in medication to Central America. They raised funds for one year before embarking on the brigade.

According to Cole White, former president and co-founder of the UT Global Medical Brigades chapter, the average person in one of the Honduran communities the group visited lived more than 20 miles away from a doctor.

“It so happens that [Bowling Green State University] is 22 miles away, which is a perfect example of the current situation where we visited,” White said.

Three days of the brigade were spent setting up fully functioning medical clinics for the locals. One day, the group built five eco-stoves, which reduced carbon footprints and use special stones and solar panels to run. Another day, the group visited local homes alongside the Community Health Workers, who are the equivalent of state-tested nursing assistants, according to Slone. On the final day of the trip, the students visited a water brigade and went to an orphanage to spend time with the children.

“We got to see many medical conditions you would not see in the United States. Everyone gained real shadowing experience and a greater understanding for other cultures and parts of the world,” Slone said.

Slone added she took away so much from the trip that she can hardly put it all into words. “I gained not only a better understanding of medicine, but I felt reassured time and time again on the trip that being a doctor is what I truly want to spend my life doing. I will never forget the days I spent in Honduras.”

The UT chapter’s next brigade will take place in Nicaragua during winter break of the 2016-17 school year.

For more information about the UT chapter of Global Medical Brigades, contact Slone at bailey.slone@rockets.utoledo.edu.

32-year-old woman receives heart pump implant at UTMC

“Thank God I got here when I did,” 32-year-old Stacy Rollins of Napoleon, Ohio, said during a recent checkup at the Heart and Vascular Center at The University of Toledo Medical Center.

A month ago, UT Health cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Mark Bonnell saved her life by implanting a battery-powered blood pump inside her chest to take over for her failing heart.

Stacy Rollins talked with UT Health cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Mark Bonnell during a recent checkup. She is sharing her story during American Heart Month.

Stacy Rollins talked with UT Health cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Mark Bonnell during a recent checkup. She is sharing her story during American Heart Month.

February is American Heart Month, and Rollins is sharing her story to encourage other younger women to take care of themselves and pay attention to early warning signs of heart failure.

“I was in pretty good shape, but I had been under a lot of stress,” Rollins said. “I started to feel terrible. I couldn’t breathe at night. I couldn’t go up the stairs. I was coughing. I thought it was pneumonia.”

Turned out her heart was barely pumping. The cough wasn’t a cold. The fatigue and breathlessness were symptoms of heart failure, which can become rapidly fatal.

In Rollins’ case, she had familial idiopathic cardiomyopathy — a weakening of the heart muscle that is inherited with unknown cause.

Her only chance of survival was a Left Ventricular Assist Device, commonly known as an LVAD. It is a mechanical device that helps pump blood to the rest of the body.

LVADs can serve as a bridge to a heart transplant or, in rare cases, as therapy for a patient as her heart heals. The longest a patient has lived with an LVAD is eight years and counting.

“Nationally, about 1 percent or less of these LVADs are taken out for recovery,” Bonnell said. “Here at UTMC, we have actually taken out almost 10 percent of them.”

UT Health cardiologist Dr. Samer Khouri said heart disease risk factors include a poor diet, lack of exercise and stress.

“This is what you call low-intensity stress that is continuous, unfortunately,” Khouri said. “The cause can also be genetic.”

Khouri said women, especially younger women, more often ignore or mistake symptoms of heart failure.

“This is an age where many have children,” Khouri said. “They are so busy. They don’t have time for themselves.”

With more women dying from heart disease than breast cancer and lung cancer combined, Rollins wants others to know she is alive and healthy today because she responded to the subtle symptoms of heart failure and asked for help.

“I am grateful for my doctors and my life,” Rollins said.

Women’s golf team to sport red in February to help fight heart disease

The University of Toledo women’s golf program will wear a red golf shirt on one day of each of its tournaments during the month of February to help raise awareness of heart disease as the No. 1 killer of women.

Head Coach Nicole Hollingsworth became involved in the fight against heart disease in women following a near-death experience last summer. She served as a guest speaker at the American Heart Association’s Go Red event in Toledo in November and has helped spread the word since.

wear red golf T“I was so honored to be asked to speak at the Go Red event as a local survivor for the fight against heart disease,” Hollingsworth said. “Since then, my life has changed. I cannot tell you how many people have approached me. I have been overwhelmed with the concern I have received, from people that I know to complete strangers.

“I see this as a personal cause, too, because I want women to know what the signs are,” she said. “In my case, I had 15 seconds and I called 911. If I hadn’t called 911 that day, I’m not sure I would be here today. Eighty percent of cardiovascular disease is reversible, but we have to take care of ourselves as women.”

In addition to the Go Red event, Hollingsworth was featured locally by WTOL’s morning news and appeared in a special segment for the evening news to discuss getting in better shape. She talked about how losing 73 pounds over the last 18 months probably saved her life in July when the heart episode happened. Hollingsworth’s story also appeared on BCSN’s Rocket Roundup and nationally in Golfweek magazine.

The Rockets have decided as a team to support the fight against heart disease in women.

“Our players decided unanimously that they would like this to be a cause that we try to educate people about,” Hollingsworth said. “We are going to give out information to other teams at our tournaments about National Heart Month to let them know more about heart disease.”

In addition to that show of support on the links, the Rockets want to make sure that people know that the National Wear Red Day — Go Red for Women is Friday, Feb. 5.

“We want to see everyone wearing red on February 5,” Hollingsworth said. “Anyone who is interested can wear the same red shirt we wear on the golf course. We would like to sell as many as possible so we can make a considerable donation to two great causes.”

Contact Hollingsworth at nicole.hollingsworth@utoledo.edu if you would
like to purchase a golf shirt for $40. Add $10 for shipping costs. You also can send a check as well as your shirt size (either men’s or women’s) to:

Nicole Hollingsworth
The University of Toledo Women’s Golf
2801 W. Bancroft St. — MS 302
Toledo, OH 43606

The Rockets will make donations from the shirt sales to the American Heart Association of Northwest Ohio and The University of Toledo Medical Center Cardiovascular Research.