Midlands Physicians with Heart

Posted On January 31, 2015

This Valentine’s Day, the American Heart Association’s 25th Anniversary of the Midlands Heart Ball will be held at the South Carolina State Museum. The black-tie gala, hosted by Drs. Vince Vismara, Andrea Pezzella and Jaguar/Land Rover of Columbia, will celebrate the life-saving advances made over the last 25 years – right here in the Midlands.

By Catherine Ramsey

 Dr. Vince VismaraDr. Vince Vismara, Medical Director of the Catheterization Lab at Palmetto Heart, and his wife, Dr. Andrea Pezzella, Founder and Director of Southern Urogynecology, and the only female Urogynecologist in the Midlands, will serve as co-chairs for this year’s Midlands Heart Ball. The event will bring together influential leaders from the corporate, philanthropic and medical communities to celebrate the accomplishments made throughout the year and to raise funds to help further the American Heart Association’s mission.

We asked the Co-Chairs a few questions:

Why are you both involved with this year’s Heart Ball?

Dr. Andrea Pezzella“My wife, Andrea, and I are honored for the opportunity to co-chair an event that raises awareness and funds for the No. 1 killer of all Americans. Heart disease and stroke threaten the lives of our families, friends and patients. With continued support of the American Heart Association and its mission, we can transform the Midlands into a heart healthy place to live.”

What is the American Heart Association doing to make the Midlands community a better place?

The AHA works diligently to educate people of the Midlands through life-saving programs and education” Pezzella said, “Just in the last year, 6,338 students participated in Jump Rope or Hoops for Heart in the Midlands and 20,445 people were trained in CPR, advanced life support, AED (defibrillator) use and first aid. But they are also affecting change in the health of the entire community by advocating for tobacco control, prevention and cessation programs, by helping the Emmerson Rose act become law in 2013, which requires all babies born in SC to receive pulse oximetry screening, and funding $2.27 million in heart disease and stroke research in South Carolina last year alone.”

Why is this year so important?

“While the American Heart Association has made great strides over the last 25 years in our area, there is still much work to be done. Heart disease and stroke claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined” said Vismara. “Many of my patients don’t realize that nearly 80% of heart disease is preventable until it is too late. Supporting the Midlands Heart Ball helps such life-saving efforts as research, education, advocating for better health, improving patient care, reaching populations at risk and building lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. In short, you are helping save lives.”

To find out more about the 25th Anniversary Heart Ball, please visit midlandsscheartball.heart.org