The Overlook Cardiac Health Fair, an annual event that educates the community about cardiovascular disease and innovations in treatment, celebrated its 20th year by honoring its founders. William Tansey, MD, a cardiologist with the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at Overlook Hospital, and Joyce Passen, RN, manager of community health, were honored by the hospital June 12 for starting the event in 1990. Tansey also was honored by the American Heart Association and the Liberty Science Center for delivering the keynote speech for the fair for the past 20 years.
More than 200 people attended the fair at the Short Hills (N.J.) Hilton and took part in presentations on advances in cardiac care and heart health screenings, such as blood pressure and cholesterol checks.
Passen, a nurse educator, came up with the idea to start the fair. Because of her experience as a cardiovascular nurse, she chose heart health, and tapped Tansey to lead the presentations.William Tansey, MD, left, cardiologist with Overlooks Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute, receives an award from Rosa Catala, a representative of Liberty Science Center, for his work at the Cardiac Health Fair.
Since its inception, the fair has become more complex, Passen said, in terms of the information offered and how it is presented. Ive seen where the thirst is, and the community has become so educated that we have had to match their demand for information, Passen said in a news release. This year there were people outside the grand ballroom on their laptops, and people walking around putting information into their PDAs. Weve never seen that before.
This year, visitors were able to experience a new addition to the fair, the Walk in the Heart, an inflatable walk-through model of a heart used to educate elementary school students who visit Overlook Hospital for field trips. The exhibit is expected to travel to different locations in the near future.
For his 20th keynote speech, Tansey offered a retrospective of his previous speeches, giving the audience a look at the approach he had taken to explain heart disease, treatment and health.