During National Heart Month, La Porte Hospital had a message for middle schoolers throughout the county: “Show Us Your Heart!” The students created inspiring works of art that brightened various hospital locations throughout the month, and winners were announced Tuesday at a reception at the La Porte Hospital LifeWorks campus in Michigan City.
“The whole idea was to get a child’s perspective on heart health,” said Doug Hynek, Director of Cardiovascular Diagnostics for La Porte Hospital. “It was phenomenal to see what came out of their minds.”
Twenty finalists from the three participating corporations: Michigan City Area Schools, La Porte Community School Corporation, and New Prairie United School Corporation, had their artwork exhibited at multiple La Porte Hospital locations. The hospital’s cardiology team voted to select one winner from each school.
The three winners: Kira Williams, Rhema Zimmer, and Zoey Nelson, were honored by Ashley Dickinson, La Porte Hospital CEO, with a prize.
Zimmer, a 5th grader from Rolling Prairie, said, “What I meant for my piece was, if you believe in yourself, that will protect you. No matter what happens. The gray around her is sadness, the red around her is the protection.”
Elizabeth Zimmer said her daughter, Rhema, spent a lot of time on her picture, and was inspired to incorporate the emotions of the heart.
“Rhema drew this with a lot of passion. I loved the fact that La Porte Hospital saw her effort and decided to honor her with a prize. I am thankful for the opportunity for the students,” Elizabeth said.
Kira Williams, the winning 4th grader in Michigan City, said, “I didn’t know I’d win because I’ve never won anything before. It makes me feel happy.”
Zoey Nelson, the winner from La Porte Community School Corporation, was inspired by all things love. “I drew a heart and in rainbow letters it says: ‘Be you, help others, and love.’ Behind the heart, I drew four pictures. There is a boy jump roping, a little boy eating an apple, a girl winning soccer, and a girl running. These are the most important ways to have a healthy heart,” Nelson said.
For Chris Atherton, Director of Cardiovascular Services, the contest was to encourage creativity and ensure that youth were included in the promotion of heart health. According to Atherton, “Show Us Your Heart” shows the unique way La Porte Hospital reaches its community.
“Heart disease isn’t just for an older people. Young people can be affected, too,” Atherton said. “It’s amazing to see the impact young people can have when they share the concept of a healthy heart in their homes.”