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El Camino Hospital

South Asian Heart Center Fourth Annual "Scarlet Night" Fundraiser Saturday, March 24th

Mountain View, CA - February 16, 2012 - Acclaimed author and physician Dr. Abraham Verghese is the keynote speaker for The South Asian Heart Center's 4th annual "Scarlet Night" gala.  The event which takes place on Saturday, March 24th at 6 p.m. at the Santa Clara Convention Center raises awareness and funds for the Center’s strategic initiatives, including prevention, physician education, clinical research, and community awareness, aimed at stemming the epidemic of heart disease among South Asians.

Dr. Verghese is the Senior Associate Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and professor at Stanford University Medical School. He is also the author of Cutting For Stone and other bestselling books. Emmy-winning NBC TV news anchor Raj Mathai will emcee the event. The gala, expected to draw around 800 guests, physicians, community and business leaders, will feature music, comedy, dance and a heart-healthy dinner banquet. One of the highlights is a casino where guests can play blackjack, roulette and more and bid on silent and live auction items. The auction will feature personal chef packages, exciting trips, fine wine and autographed copies of Dr. Verghese's books.

South Asians have four times greater risk for heart disease than the general population. It strikes them at younger ages, often without prior symptoms or warning. The South Asian Heart Center is the first major nonprofit devoted to addressing this epidemic and receives fiscal support from the El Camino Hospital Foundation, grants and sponsorships from foundations and corporations, and philanthropic gifts and charitable donations from the community.

Scarlet Night is co-chaired by Rita Sharma and Poornima Kumar both of whom have compelling personal reasons for supporting the Center.  Ms. Sharma's father had a heart attack on an international flight and died two days later. "My father was a cardio-thoracic surgeon who had no outward symptoms of heart disease. What shocked me was that he - a heart doctor - had no idea that he himself had heart disease. I want to help the Center raise awareness in the South Asian community -- and particularly among physicians --of our unique heart risk," she said. 

Ms. Kumar also lost her father to heart disease. "My personal experiences, combined with my career in the pharmaceutical industry have convinced me that prevention and timely intervention can make a huge impact on our health," she said. "Given our enhanced understanding of the causes of heart disease and easy access to tools for its management, we do not need to be helpless victims of our genes."

Individual tickets range from $125 to $250, and tables of ten from $1250 to $2500. For tickets or more information, call (650) 940-7242.

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