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Published on May 17, 2011

Avera Heart Hospital CEO to Chair Eastern South Dakota Heart Walk

The American Heart Association’s annual Heart Walk will attract thousands of community members throughout Eastern South Dakota on Saturday, August 27, 2011 as they embark on a 1-mile or 3-mile journey to a healthier lifestyle and to help raise lifesaving funds for cardiovascular disease and stroke research. Leading the charge will be Jon Soderholm, President and CEO of Avera Heart Hospital. The signature walking event is designed to create a stronger community among participants, instill passion for reducing disability and death from cardiovascular disease and stroke, and generate excitement for a new or renewed commitment to heart-healthy living through walking and eating well.

Soderholm has been a guiding presence in South Dakota’s healthcare industry for more than 40 years. As an avid philanthropist, he has been active in a variety of civic, community and charitable organizations over the years including the Sioux Empire United Way, Achieve, McCrossan Boys Ranch, South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, the American Medical Association Committee on Allied Health, Education and Accreditation and the Center for Active Generations.

Under Soderholm’s leadership, the event is expected to attract more than 3,000 people and raise an estimated $170,000 to fund critical research, awareness and community education programs throughout the state of South Dakota. "It is an honor to serve as the chair of the 2011 Eastern South Dakota Heart Walk," said Soderholm. "Heart disease is the number one killer of South Dakotans, and we are passionate at the Avera Heart Hospital about supporting prevention efforts in partnership with the American Heart Association."

The Heart Walk is a community-wide event composed of corporate walk teams, community teams of friends and family, individual walkers, survivors and Lifestyle Heroes who have made positive changes to reduce heart disease and stroke risk factors of these diseases. The family-friendly event begins at 8:00 a.m. at Falls Park in downtown Sioux Falls. Festivities include a kid’s zone, health screenings, entertainment, tribute and survivor area as well as special place where participants can take a pledge to become more heart healthy. "I hope everyone will come out to enjoy this great family event," Soderholm said. Local presenting sponsors are Avera Heart Hospital and Avera Health. For more information about how to form your own team or additional details about the Heart Walk, call the American Heart Association’s office at (605) 366-7022 or visit