Heart Center named for famous resident

Heart Center named for famous resident »Play Video

COOS BAY, Ore. -- The heart center at Bay Area Hospital will now bear the name of the area's most famous athlete.

The new cardiovascular center at BAH will bear the name of Steve Prefontaine, not only to honor his legacy, but his commitment to health and fitness.

Dr. Seth Giri  says it's a perfect fit. "Who else to better better represent that then Steve Prefontaine, who's known for his tenacity and perseverance," he said.

A recent study at Oregon State University puts Coos County at the bottom of the list for 28 out of 33 different health variables.

Now, Pre's legacy is paired with the hospital's goal of enhancing heart health on the South Coast.

That is something his sister Linda says he was very passionate about. "If Steve were alive today, I know it would give him great pleasure to come back to his hometown to help make a difference in the lives of the people in this community," she said.

Through small steps, patient by patient, Dr. Giri says he hopes the community will persevere, like Pre, on a path toward health. "Moderate level of physical activity, prudent diet, and hopefully if we can achieve that much, that's a big goal."

Pre once said, "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."

That, Linda says, is a belief that both she and Dr. Giri share with Pre.

The center will officially be known as the Prefontaine Cardiovascular Center.