A Q&A with Michael Mayo, Hospital President of Baptist Medical Center – Jacksonville
Michael Mayo has been an integral part of the Heart Ride for the First Coast Chapter of the American Heart Association, and a leader in Men Go Red. We asked him to share with us some information about Men Go Red and the evolution of the Heart Ride, and what it means to our community .
1. What is the mission behind Men Go Red?
The mission behind Men Go Red is to support and advocate for the cardiovascular health of the women in our lives.
2. How was the idea of the Heart Ride conceived?
When we created Men Go Red a couple of years ago, we were looking for an event that would draw men and to women to our cause. Being a motorcycle enthusiast myself, I thought it would be a great way to make a statement and raise awareness.
3. How has the event grown?
The Heart Ride is in its second year. We expect to triple in rider participation, and the Chili Cook-Off After Party is an added feature for riders and non-riders. Having the ride in Heart Month has elevated the excitement. We are thankful for the impact the media has produced with posters, radio spots, magazine editorials, billboards and social media outlets. Community support has taken the ride to the next level.
4. How do events like this raise awareness about heart disease?
Most of the time someone in your circle has to have an incident before you acknowledge that the next victim could be you. Over 80% of Cardiovascular tragedies can be prevented. The Heart Ride is an opportunity to bring the reality of the disease forward. The death of Paul Figura shocked all of Jacksonville. We will have a tribute to Paul at the ride. His family and friends are sharing his story in hopes of saving lives.
5. How can our readers get involved?
Come out on Feb. 28th, even if you don’t ride a motorcycle. Show your support and learn more about preventing your own heart attack or stroke. Join Men Go Red and become an advocate.