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Grape Escape Raises Funds for Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness Program

Photo: Michael SeeleyROCKLEDGE, Fla. (October 21, 2016) - The 2016 Health First Foundation's Grape Escape event recently raised more than $425,000 to benefit the development of a comprehensive Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness Program for Health First Heart & Vascular Services. The rehabilitation clinic is currently under construction at Health First's Pro-Health & Fitness facility in Melbourne.

“We are so grateful for the generous spirit of our community,” said Michael Seeley, President of the Health First Foundation. “Heart disease is the Number 1 cause of death in the United States. The funds raised at this yearâ??s Grape Escape will help us to provide education and life-saving programs to thousands of patients.”

More than 280 attended the event on October 15 at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, and enjoyed a four-course meal and a wine tasting experience paired with each course. Guests also had the opportunity to participate in a live auction, conducted by Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, featuring valued wines, vacation packages and unique jewelry.

The Health First Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness Program will help patients dealing with cardiovascular disease to manage risk factors and make lifestyle changes through screenings, education and rehabilitation. The goal of this program is to empower patients to improve their health and learn to live well by overcoming future risks.

Since its inception in 2001, the Health First Foundation Grape Escape has raised more than $3.5 million for various world-class medical equipment and facilities to serve Brevard County residents.

The Honorary Chairs of the event were Phillip and Jeanne Farmer, and the event co-chairs were John Gallo and Christine Lance. The presenting sponsor of the 2016 Grape Escape event was Health First Heart & Vascular Services. Other sponsors included Harris Corporation, Shelter Mortgage Company, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi of Melbourne, Cindy and Larry Bishop, MD, Christine Lance and Bill and Lisa Troner. Health First is grateful for all of the more than 115 sponsors who helped make the event a success.

About Health First

Founded in 1995, Health First is Brevard County's not-for-profit, community healthcare system. The fully integrated delivery network (IDN) includes health insurance plans, hospitals, a multi-specialty medical group and outpatient and wellness services. As a locally owned, not-for-profit organization, Health First is committed to investing in our community. In 2015, Health First provided more than $129 million in community support. To learn more about Health First and how we're giving back to our community, please visit