St. Joseph's Mercy Presents Heart Ball

December 5, 2011

Nancy and Tim Johnsen and Marc and Sharon

Gunter will serve as hosts for the 2012 Hot

Springs Heart Ball.

St. Joseph’s Mercy Health System will serve as the presenting sponsor for the 2012 American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s (AHA) Hot Springs Heart Ball.

The annual event will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2012, at Hot Springs Convention Center’s Horner Hall. The theme will be “Heroes for the Heart.”The ball will be hosted by St. Joseph’s Mercy President Tim Johnsen and his wife, Nancy, and Mercy Clinic President Dr. Marc Gunter and his wife, Sharon.

“Heart disease knows no boundaries. Regardless of age, ethnicity or gender, heart disease is still one of the leading killers in the United States. That’s why St. Joseph’s Mercy has made it our mission to lead the way in heart health and treatment,” Tim Johnsen said. “Our commitment to heart health in this community goes all the way back to 1888 when the Sisters of Mercy founded the hospital, and continues through to present day.

“We are also very pleased to work alongside the AHA, an organization dedicated to reducing premature disability and death from heart or cardiovascular disease and stroke.”

Funds raised at the Hot Springs Heart Ball go toward cardiovascular research currently being conducted by 208 researchers in 32 institutions in 19 cities. This includes research projects at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. Over the years, the research has yielded such discoveries as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), bypass surgery, pacemakers, artificial heart valves, microsurgery, numerous life-saving drugs and new surgical techniques to help repair heart defects.

The AHA, the oldest and largest national non-profit voluntary health organization in the world, has also placed over 2,000 automated external defibrillators throughout Arkansas over the last four years, and in 2007 alone facilitated CPR training for approximately 25,000 Arkansans. Moreover, more than 30 million are reached each year by the AHA educational program, which emphasizes quitting tobacco use, controlling blood pressure, eating a low-fat and cholesterol diet and being physically active.

The Hot Springs Heart Ball is the area’s premier social event. Attendees at this black-tie optional event enjoy an elegant evening that includes a gourmet dinner, live and silent auctions, and entertainment.

Tickets are priced $125 and are available through the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. For information, contact Brenda Dudley with the American Heart Association at (866) 877-5883 ext. 2236 or visit the 2012 Hot Springs Heart Ball Gala’s Web site.

St. Joseph’s Mercy is a not-for-profit, faith-based health facility with 27 medical clinics serving the healthcare needs of Hot Springs and its surrounding communities since 1888. It is designated as the southwest region’s only Level II Trauma Center and the region’s most preferred provider of health care services.

St. Joseph’s Mercy will become Mercy Hospital Hot Springs in 2012.

Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 30 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,500 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit

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