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Grateful Patient Exercises His Right to Give Back
Stowers, 79 and retired, is a member of WellStar North Fulton Hospital’s cardiac rehab program.

When Ed Stowers of Alpharetta hits the gym three times a week, he logs time on the treadmill and stationary bike. He also connects to a close-knit community of other health-conscious folks. Stowers, 79 and retired, is a member of WellStar North Fulton Hospital’s cardiac rehab program, which he joined about six years ago. Cardiac rehab lets those who have heart disease or have had cardiac procedures exercise in a safe, monitored environment.

The naturally upbeat Stowers was always trying to find ways to express his appreciation for the program led by Susan Tassitano. Stowers and his wife Pat replaced the TVs at the facility. At the time, North Fulton was a for-profit hospital and monetary donations were not permitted.

When WellStar, a not-for-profit system, acquired the hospital last spring, Stowers approached asked if anything had changed in the rules for giving and found that he could better show his appreciation. During a recognition event to recognize the Stowers’ generous $10,000 gift to fund equipment for cardiac rehab, Ed was moved to pledge another $5,000.

“The expansion of our system has exposed us to wonderful new friends like the Stowers whose generosity helps the Foundation reinvest in health- and life-altering programs in every community we serve,” said Penny Morrison-Ross, WellStar Foundation executive director.

Stowers, a self-made businessman whose parents moved him to Macon as a child for health reasons, downplays the donation as a token of appreciation for a program helps keep him healthy as an adult. “I never exercised before bypass surgery because I was too busy working. Now I go three times a week.”

And like others in WellStar’s cardiac rehab programs around metro Atlanta, Stowers gets a lot more from the sessions than exercise and healthy lifestyle tips. He also benefits from the camaraderie and the support of team members.

“We were very happy to contribute and hope it might inspire others,” he said. To learn more about how you can make a difference, visit