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Manak Sood, MDIn year 1999 a Healthy Heart awareness program was initiated by a SJMH Critical Care nurse, Diane Duxter, who would venture out to area schools with the sole mission of enhancing the science curriculums through instructing students about the negative effects of smoking, poor nutrition and the inner workings of the heart and lung. In order to fully capitalize on the learning opportunity, Diane purposely scheduled class sessions during the times when students were learning about the dynamics of the human body. In an attempt to graphically drive home a fundamental appreciation of the human anatomy and its function, Diane used a freshly butchered pig heart and lung block and a chemically treated diseased lung as “hands on” teaching tools.

Because of the success of the program, Diane found herself in great demand. Soon after, she was approached by Cardio Thoracic surgeon, Dr. Manak Sood, M.D., SJMH, who shared a similar interest in making a positive impact on the health of the local community. Dr. Sood and Diane teamed up their expertise and began visiting local schools on a monthly basis. In the fall of 2004, Dr. Sood received an unexpected surprise – an anonymous donor gift given to help support the program and its mission within the community. Dr. Sood, and now a staff of volunteers, used the generous donation to develop Health Hearts 101, which became an expansion of the current presentation with the addition of more “hands-on” activities for the students to participate in. In order to increase the positive impact within the community, it was decided to utilize the Michigan Heart & Vascular Institute at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. Class sessions are now held twice a month and are free of charge to local schools, church groups, Scout Troops, etc. As of May 2005, Healthy Hearts 101 has reached over 3000 students from area schools with an ever-increasing annual demand.


The Healthy Hearts 101 program would not be able to continue without the support of our dedicated volunteers. For more information about becoming a volunteer, please call 734-712-3583 or email


Healthy Hearts 101 is run strictly on funds donated to the program. Tax-deductible donations help to fund the cost of supplies and bus transportation for schools that cannot afford to fund busses for field trips.

If you would like to make a donation, please send your donation to:

Michigan Heart & Vascular Institute at
St. Joseph Mercy Hospital
5325 Elliott Drive
PO Box 977
Ann Arbor, MI 48106
Attn: Healthy Hearts 101

A Member of Trinity Health
© 2015 Trinity Health

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor | 5301 McAuley Drive, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 | 734-712-3456