Iowa Heart Attack Patient Named ‘I am CardioSmart’ Contest Winner

Contact: Nicole Napoli,, 202-375-6523

WASHINGTON (March 7, 2012) Bradley Smith, a heart attack patient from Coralville, Iowa, was chosen by members of the cardiovascular community as the winner of the American College of Cardiology's I am CardioSmart patient contest — a contest conducted through the ACC's CardioSmart patient initiative to find people living will with heart disease.

Smith will be recognized by CardioSmart Chief Medical Expert JoAnne Foody, MD, FACC, during a CardioSmart Dinner Symposium on March 9 in San Francisco. He will also present on "A Patient's Perspective on CardioSmart" during the CardioSmart Forum on March 9, both events are held in conjunction with the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session.

"Being CardioSmart means being well-informed on the cardiovascular system and the factors that positively or negatively impact it," Smith said. "The process continues as the person incorporates what they have learned into their everyday life and it becomes a part of their lifestyle."

CardioSmart is the patient education and support program developed by the ACC. Its mission is to engage, inform and empower patients to better prepare them for participation in their own care. In launching its newly redesigned website (, CardioSmart held a contest to find individuals who were living well with one of six heart disease conditions: high blood pressure, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, congenital heart defect, previous heart attack or coronary artery disease. Smith was selected as the overall winner after a vote via the CardioSmart Facebook page and is featured prominently on the new site.

On June 18, 2011, Smith experienced intense pain in both of his elbows and drove himself to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. After undergoing an electrocardiogram, it was determined that he was having a heart attack. Sixty hours later he began cardiac rehabilitation with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics CHAMPS (Cardiovascular Health, Assessment, Management and Prevention Services) Program where he learned about nutrition, stress management, exercise principles and heart disease.

"Brad continuously came to CHAMPS with an upbeat and positive attitude," said Jennifer Bunning, a CHAMPS cardiac rehabilitation specialist. "Although Brad's road to recovery was not easy, he made it a point to make every day count and he took control of his health and made himself a priority. He truly is a champ, and I feel fortunate to have worked with him."

Smith said since his heart attack he works out six to seven days a week, altered his diet to consist of mainly plant-based meals and one serving of fish a day, and limits his salt intake to 1,500 mg or less a day.

"Through diet, exercise and medication, my laboratory results have significantly improved," he said. "My results could not have been obtained without the help and encouragement of my family, the staff at CHAMPS, my cardiologist and my primary care physician. I am now training for a half of marathon in May 2013."

Five other heart disease patients were recognized in the first round of the I am CardioSmart contest for their inspiring stories of living well with heart disease. Their stories will also be displayed on the new website.

  • Kimberly Binkley from Trenton, Ohio – Heart Failure
  • Lisa S. Cox from Tallahassee, Fla. – Coronary Artery Disease
  • Deborah L. Flaherty-Kizer from Schenectady, N.Y. – Congenital Heart Defect
  • Larry Severson from Eagle River, Alaska – Atrial Fibrillation
  • Carolyn Wilkin from Hillsboro, Ohio – High Blood Pressure

For more information on CardioSmart, visit

For information on the CardioSmart Dinner Symposium or CardioSmart Forum, contact Nicole Napoli at

The mission of the American College of Cardiology is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. The College is a 43,000-member medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The ACC provides professional education, operates national registries to measure and improve quality of care, disseminates cardiovascular research, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit


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