The Coast News Group

Tri-City partners with American Heart Association for 5K walk

OCEANSIDE — The Tri-City Medical Center is encouraging the community to learn about heart healthy living by sponsoring the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Healthy for Good North County Heart and Stroke Walk. The debut recreational 5K walk will kick off at Oceanside Pier at 8 a.m. Sept. 30. 

Event planners anticipate that more than 1,500 people will be in attendance.

While registration for the walk is free of charge, after the 5K, participants are encouraged to get a free health screening. Live entertainment will be on hand, and the kid’s zone will be a draw for families.

Eric Thompson, the senior director of communications and marketing at the AHA, explained how his organization is working collaboratively to help raise awareness in North County with Tri-City Medical Center.

“Walking is the simplest, positive change that any individual can make and it will effectively improve heart health,” Thompson said. “It has the lowest dropout rate of any exercise. And research is also showing that walking is the single most effective form of exercise to achieve our health — just 30 minutes a day can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke which is the number one and number five killers of Americans, respectively.”

Every step is a step toward better health, he said.

Thompson said the goal of the event is to create an environment where participants can learn various ways they can improve their heart and brain health as well as the multiple benefits of a healthy lifestyle.   

“Tri-City Medical Center is proud to be the North County inaugural partner with the American Heart Association for the Heart & Stroke Walk on Sept. 30 at the Oceanside Pier,” said Steve Dietlin, North County Heart and Stroke Walk Chair and Tri-City Medical Center CEO. “This will be the first North County AHA/ Tri-City event that we hope provides the foundation for a long and beneficial partnership with the AHA and we are honored to have been the catalyst to bring this important awareness to the North County community.”

Thompson said that the relationship between AHA and Tri-City is outstanding. AHA has brought a campaign to San Diego North County called “Life is Why,” and Tri-City is helping reinforce this educational platform.

The Healthy for Good North County Heart and Stroke Walk is a component of Life is Why.

“This campaign (Life is Why) really encourages people to think about your ‘why’ and how making healthy choices is important,” Thompson said. “It is to help everyone think about what is important, not just to them, but to their loved ones.”

Everyone has their own “why” ranging from wanting to see their children graduate and marry, to playing with their grandchildren and enjoying their retirement years.

Heart-healthy choices can help people reach those Life is Why goals.   

To learn more about the AHA and the Good North County Heart and Stroke Walk, visit or call (858) 410-3827.