Being a heart champion may not be part of my official job description as CEO of Siemens USA, but heart health is a cause I care about deeply. My father, who passed away two years ago, suffered from heart disease and needed bypass surgery, which thankfully gave us another decade with him. A strong and healthy heart is also important to the overall well-being of the people I work with every day.
At Siemens, promoting heart health means staying true to the principle “We take care of each other.” This principle is at the core of our Zero Harm Culture, a company-wide program to ensure our workplaces are safe and healthy environments. Our employees drive this principle and, in one instance, it helped save a colleague’s life.
Wayne Hancock works as an Environmental Health and Safety Manager for Siemens, and as he shares in the video below, he came into work one day thinking the headache he had been experiencing was just the symptom of a sinus infection. Unfortunately, it was more than just a headache. His coworkers thankfully took notice that he wasn’t himself and intervened, getting him the medical attention he needed. Wayne had suffered a stroke, and the quick action of his colleagues kept a dangerous situation from getting worse. He is now known as “The Miracle Man.”
This month is a special time for telling stories like Wayne’s and raising awareness about the risks of stroke and heart disease, the leading killer of men and women.
Designated as American Heart Month, February includes popular events like National Wear Red Day and the Washington-area Heart Ball, which I was honored to co-chair with my husband in 2017. I am a proud member of the American Heart Association, which hosts the fundraising event.
For this year’s American Heart Month, Siemens has created several heart-related health webinars that our 50,000 employees across the country can access on demand and for free. Topics include information about cholesterol, blood pressure, and healthy eating. We have also launched a Heart Health challenge, encouraging employees to share their heart health stories and even post recipes to our internal social network.
I am excited to read what our employees share and hear about the healthy habits they have adopted. At the end of the month, I hope what we learn continues to have an impact at Siemens, where health and safety are truly taken to heart.