Earlier this summer, Day 1 Sports client and New England Patriot Elandon Roberts partnered with Close The Gap, Boston Scientific’s health equity initiative, to bring a heart walk and 7 on 7 tournament to Roberts’ hometown of Port Arthur, TX. Close the Gap aims to eliminate cardiovascular care disparities. “We’re on a mission to help ensure all patients receive optimal cardiac care regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity or primary language,” their mission statement details.

Close the Gap was the lead partner and sponsor for the First Annual Elandon Roberts Foundation 5K Heart Walk and 7- On – 7 Football Tournament in Port Arthur, Texas. New England Patriot and 2017 Super Bowl Champion Elandon Roberts created the Foundation to educate the community on heart health.  After losing his young aunt and grandmother to heart disease, Elandon decided to use his reach, network and popularity to promote heart disease awareness, health equity and heart education for underserved communities, multicultural women and minorities.  This effort was led by Principal Project Lead, Valencia Powell, and supported by National Director Mariana Rodrigues, IC Business Partner Eddie Howard and Clinical Specialist Rep, Mark Busceme.  The event was capped off by Elandon being moved to dedicate a game jersey. The New England jersey was presented to Boston Scientific Chairman and CEO Mike Mahoney on September 5th at the corporate headquarters in Marlborough, MA. It will be displayed at the Boston Scientific corporate office and during EMAI to remind employees of the impact that education and life-saving technology can have in communities they serve.

On July 15, over 200 attendees, event walkers and volunteers, mingled with local celebrities, Elandon’s fellow NFL teammates and other athletes, who attended to serve as celebrity coaches for the 7-On-7 tournament.  Between the events and lunch, Dr. S. Rao Kothapalli, Interventional Cardiologist from The Medical Center of Southeast Texas led an educational presentation explaining the importance of getting heart checks, updates and knowing the signs of heart disease. Our Close the Gap informational tent was visited with heavy foot traffic as people took educational marketing materials and pins promoting heart disease awareness.  In addition, Gulf Coast Health Center, Inc. and The South East Texas Black Nurses teamed up to provide blood pressure screening and heart educational materials to the participants.  As a result, Dr. Rao, The South East Texas Black Nurses and The Medical Center of Southeast Texas have committed to volunteering and having a larger presence at next year’s Elandon 5K Heart Walk. Sharon Payne, Medical Center of South East Texas Cardiac nurse said, “Education is the most powerful investment in our community. As a healthcare professional it was an honor to bring awareness to heart disease.”

The 5K Heart Walk was an amazing success and everyone stayed until the end of the event for autographs, photos and discussions.  The local Port Arthur and Beaumont media had a heavy presence also.  Elandon presented a signed jersey to Boston Scientific’s Close the Gap team in recognition to the work the lead sponsor put in to make the educational event a huge success.


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