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Our Iditarod Docs Embrace the Spirit of Alaska
At the Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute, we are proud to have a talented team provide the highest quality of cardiovascular care to Alaskans. This year, AHVI physicians are participating in an event that has a special place in the hearts of all Alaskans – the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Drs. Mark Selland and Bill Mayer will be taking part in the “Last Great Race” as a musher and a pilot, respectively. Dr. Selland will be making his debut as a musher in the Iditarod after working for three years as a handler for local musher Robert Bundtzen.
“Three years ago, I barely knew what end of the dog to put the harness on. It has morphed into me spending more time with the team and getting the opportunity to run several mid-distance races, ultimately qualifying for the Iditarod. I like mushing from the physical and outdoors perspective and the intellectual side of dog care and training – you almost have to be a vet.” said Dr. Selland about the team he will be running.
Dr. Selland, who is also an avid mountaineer, says that he is approaching the race like a climbing expedition: have a big goal, but get there one small step at a time.
“I’ve seen it in climbing where people say, ‘I’m going to take a picture at the top’ but they don’t make it half that far,” he said. “I’m planning to take it one checkpoint at a time.”
Another AHVI cardiologist who understands the importance of taking the Iditarod one step at a time is Dr. Mayer, who will fly for about two weeks during the race. He will shuttle dogs, judges, checkers and veterinarians, as well as transport supplies, tents, food, beds and more across the Alaska tundra.
“I’ve had to sleep in my plane, land on the trail and wait out storms,” said Dr. Mayer, who has logged around 2,000 flight hours over 25 years of being a pilot for the race. Despite some challenging situations, Dr. Mayer finds this to be his favorite time of the year and knows there is a support system within the race. ” I have a series of brothers looking out for me.”
Come cheer on Dr. Selland during the Iditarod ceremonial start with the AHVI team at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Cordova Street in Anchorage on Saturday, March 7th, beginning at 10am. For more details about the race, visit iditarod.com
Meet the Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute Team
Katie Smith, the Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute’s lead imaging nurse, has only lived in Anchorage for two years, but she and her family have quickly become part of the community. They have been getting involved in the American Heart Association’s Heart Run and Heart Walk, as well as other events that AHVI sponsors. Katie and her husband Eric often bring their 5-year-old daughter Peyton along to instill the importance of volunteering at a young age.
“I think it’s important to get involved in the community and reach out to people,” Katie said. “It’s important that we get out in the community and explain things to them because not everyone is aware of heart disease and the risk factors. It’s important for my daughter to see that interaction.”
Volunteering is one of Peyton’s favorite things to do now. At the Heart Walk in September, team members loaded up Peyton with as much AHVI gear as possible – headbands, sunglasses, gloves and t-shirts.
“She loves it,” Katie said. “She thinks she’s the team mascot.”
For Katie, the biggest reward is seeing patients enjoying life outside of AHVI.
“It’s always nice to see our patients walking and participating,” Katie said. “You see patients’ families say, ‘You’ve saved their life.’ It’s great to get to interact with the patients, hear their stories and see how far they’ve come.”
As the lead imaging nurse, Katie oversees the nursing side of the imaging department, which includes PET-CT scans, CT scans, echocardiograms and MRIs.
Her husband Eric, who serves in the Air Force and is stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, recently extended his tour in Alaska. Katie is excited to continue working at AHVI and volunteering.
“I want us to continue to watch the Institute and the imaging department grow,” she said.
Heart-Friendly // Calendar
March 4 // Go Red for Women Conference & Luncheon and Men’s Red Tie Breakfast
Breakfast: 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Conference: 8:30 – 11:15 a.m.
Luncheon: 11:30a.m. – 1 p.m.
Learn more at AHA Events
March 7 // Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Ceremonial Start
Where: Fourth Avenue. Races start at 10 a.m.
Learn more at iditarod.com and come help us cheer on AHVI’s own Dr. Selland!
March 7 // Running of the Reindeer
Where: G St. and Fourth Ave. Event starts at 4 p.m.
Learn more at FurRondy.net
March 14 // Skinny Raven Shamrock Shuffle
Where: Bear Tooth Theatrepub. Event starts at 9:30 a.m.
Learn more at Skinny Raven
April 25 // Alaska Heart Run
Where: Alaska Airlines Center. Event starts at 9:30 a.m.
Join our team at heartrun.kintera.org
May 6 // Do Run-Run
Where: West end of Ship Creek trailhead. Event starts at 5:30 p.m.
Learn more at anchoragerunningclub.org
May 23 // Trent/Waldron Glacier Half Marathon and Pulsator 10K
Where: Westchester Lagoon. Event starts at 8:00 a.m.
Learn more at anchoragerunningclub.org
May 30 // The Color Run – Fairbanks
Learn more at TheColorRun.com/fairbanks/
Alaskan Chef Feature
Oatmeal with Cranberries, Apricots and Golden Raisins
From the Kitchen of Natasha Price of AlaskaKnitNat.com
Oatmeal doesn’t have to come from a packet: making your own isn’t difficult and it is healthier. Instant oatmeal packets contain a log of sugar, sometimes as much as three teaspoons which is not a healthy way to start the morning. This heart-healthy variation from Natasha Price, a lifelong Alaskan who blogs about cooking and crafting, is a great way to jumpstart your day. It’s packed with nutrients such as potassium, which helps control blood pressure by blunting the effects of sodium, and fiber that helps reduce blood cholesterol levels. View more recipes at AlaskaKnitNat.com.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup rolled oats
- Pinch of Salt
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons dried apricots, chopped
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar (optional)
Place water, salt and dried fruit in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the oats, turn down heat and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about six minutes. Add agave nectar to taste. Makes two servings.
Once again, The Alaska Heart & Vascular Institute is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Alaska Heart Run benefiting the American Heart Association
Join us for the 2015 Heart Run on Saturday, April 25, at the new Alaska Airlines Center at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Everyone is welcome to be part of our team as we walk and run to raise funds for the American Heart Association’s many important missions, from heart disease and stroke research to prevention of these diseases, which combined are the nation’s number one killer. As always, we will be working with the American Heart Association to provide red survivor hats as well.
For more race information or to join our team today, click here.