Saint Luke’s cardiologists featured in Valentine’s memes with heart-healthy themes

As the leading cause of death in the United States, heart disease is clearly no laughing matter — unless you’re a cardiologist and you’re in on the joke.

A group of cardiologists at Saint Luke’s Health System have put the giggles into Valentine’s Day with a series of memes promoting heart-healthy living that has caught national attention.

In one, cardiovascular and thorasic surgeon Keith Allen wears red, heart-shaped fun glasses next to the slogan: “Don’t bypass my love, valentine.”

In another, physician Sanjaya Gupta wears a fetching stethoscope and far-away gaze on his face with a flirtatious message: “Baby, you’re giving me AFib ’cause my heart’s aflutter when I look at you.”

“We wanted to find a creative way to help patients see the light-hearted and caring nature of these expert physicians while also sharing the important message of heart disease prevention, and encouraging our community to take control of their heart health so they can avoid serious issues in the future,” Rebecca Sesler, vice president of marketing at Saint Luke’s Health System, told ABC News.

“Featuring such elite physicians to deliver these messages in a fun, creative way is inspiring people to share them with those they love. Just as we had hoped.”

Saint Luke’s 60 board-certified cardiologists have their hands full on holidays, non-holidays, every day of the year.

Last year they saw more than 68,000 patients in clinic, about 261 heart patients every day, according to Laurel Gifford, senior director of media relations for Saint Luke’s Health System.

Though heart disease kills more than 370,000 Americans every year —striking someone every 42 seconds - physicians preach that the disease is largely preventable.

The meme themes in the Saint Luke’s campaign promote the lifestyle changes and preventative steps research has shown can reduce the risk by 95 percent, Gifford said.

How to avoid heartache? Exercise, eat healthy non-processed foods, don’t smoke, drink in moderation, maintain a healthy body weight and avoid sitting for long periods of time.

Per doctors’ orders: Get up and move every 30 minutes.





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Today is Valentine’s Day.

This is our annual opportunity to bungle the things we say and fail to make clear the ways we feel. Love is ugly, strange, and inarticulable. It is not nice or fair, but it is the main thing anyone cares about, and it’s good to have a holiday where we say that out loud as a group. But what is the best way to do it?

Every year, we’re stuck with the same handful of options for expressing our most embarrassing inner monologues about the people in our lives. Those choices, as dictated by the forces of capitalism, are chocolate, flowers, Hallmark cards, songs written and performed by Phil Collins, framed photographs of key life moments, songs written and performed by Sting, or tickets to a romantic comedy starring a TV personality and a former action hero.

For a lot of people (including me, I am very suggestible!) these options are fine. But for some members of our generation, raised to eschew sincerity at every turn and converse solely through the prism of memes, none of these gifts are acceptable. These youths (and former youths) need something else, or they are not going to get anywhere with this whole “finding someone to hold hands with while Nero plays the fiddle” thing.

To that end, The Verge’s premiere cartoonist Dami Lee has created a series of printable, shareable, romantic memes.

We’ve done our best to make them say what’s in your heart.

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