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Saint Francis Hospital announces its keynote speaker at HeartFest 2010 will be Patrick Reynolds, grandson to cigarette company founder R.J. Reynolds and president of the Foundation for a Smokefree America. The keynote speech by Mr. Reynolds, an anti-smoking advocate and industry insider, will be at 1 p.m. on Feb. 18 in the Auditorium at Saint Francis Hospital, 355 Ridge Ave. Mr. Reynolds will address the dangers of tobacco in his address, “Tobacco Wars: the Battle for a Smoke-free Society.”  

Patrick Reynolds grew up in the
comfort and luxury provided by the family business – tobacco. Slowly he came to realize that the very thing that supported his family was killing his family. He lost his father, RJ Reynolds, Jr., his oldest brother RJ Reynolds III, his aunt and numerous other family members to cigarette-induced emphysema, heart disease and lung cancer.  Concerned about the mounting health evidence, he made the decision to speak, meeting in March 2009 with Rep. Henry Waxman, a co-sponsor of the Congressional bill for FDA regulation of tobacco, to offer his support. The bill passed both Houses, and President Barack Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act into law on June 22, 2009.

HeartFest 2010 is part of the Saint Francis Hospital’s Heart Month activities scheduled throughout February. Additional activities that day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., include physician presentations on heart health, free health screenings, giveaways and refreshments.