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South Asian Heart Center Selected as Recipient of Los Altos Whole Foods Market's Nickels for Nonprofits Program

Mountain View, CA - February 10, 2012 - In honor of heart month, The South Asian Heart Center, El Camino Hospital has been selected by  Whole Foods Market, Los Altos, as the beneficiary of the store's Nickels for Nonprofit Program, a company-wide initiative implemented by individual stores.

For the next three months, each time a customer brings in their own reusable bag, they will be given the option to donate the nickel refund to the South Asian Heart Center. Typically, this program generates about a $2000 donation at the end of the three months.

South Asians - who trace their ancestry from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka - have four times higher levels of risk factors for heart disease than the general population. Heart disease strikes them at younger ages, without prior symptoms or warning despite often being vegetarian, not obese, and non-smoking. The South Asian Heart Center, founded in 2006 with financial support from the El Camino Hospital Foundation, is the first major nonprofit devoted to combating this epidemic.

"Since this is American Heart Month, what could be more appropriate than supporting an organization that is combating heart disease right here in our community?" said Scott Yamasaki, Marketing and Community Team Leader, Whole Foods Market, Los Altos. "The South Asian Heart Center's support of healthy lifestyles is a great fit with our own mission, too."

"We're thankful for the support of Whole Foods Los Altos," said Ashish Mathur, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Center. "Not only are they raising money that will help further our programs, but more importantly, they're helping us raise awareness."

Whole Foods Los Altos is located at 4800 El Camino Real. For more information about the South Asian Heart Center's programs, please visit