ALPINE As a community project for American Heart Month, the Alpine High School Juniorettes invited Dr. David Sanchez as their guest speaker at the Healthy Heart presentation with a meal on Feb 20 at the Alpine High School library.

Katelyn Lilley, vice president called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance. Principal Panchi Scown provided the invocation. Mary Anna Roberts, HOBY Ambassador nominee, led the group in the pledge of allegiance to the flags.

Mary Vongsavath, advisor, remarked that the Juniorettes are delighted to have a dedicated family practice medical doctor to speak ‘Heart to Heart’ with the Juniorettes and asked that Physician Assistant Ken Vongsavath provide the introduction of the guest speaker.

Ken Vongsavath introduced Sanchez as a remarkable doctor who has been serving Alpine since 1994 after graduating from UTMB Galveston in 1990 and completing his residency at UT Tyler Health Center in 1993. He is married to Dianne and currently is raising their granddaughter who is 7. He likes reading and watching sports.

As a starter, Sanchez asked, “What is the No. 1 cause of death for men or women in US? It is heart disease.”

The first step to lower cardiovascular risk is to raise one’s awareness of the risk factors and symptoms particular to women or men.

The next step is to take action and practice daily behaviors that lower the risk factors you can control: avoid smoking, stick to a healthy, low-saturated-fat diet that is high in fiber and low in fatty, processed foods and exercise regularly for benefits including lower blood pressure, lower risk of diabetes, healthier body weight and stress reduction.

Consult with your physician about cardiovascular screening based on your family history and risk factors.

Q & A followed. “Is water better to drink?” asked Mary Anna. Sanchez said that many people are dehydrated in this part of the country and water is a necessity and better than soda.

As a token of their appreciation, the Juniorettes presented a bottle of wine and an Alpine key ring to Sanchez. A key ring with a card was presented to Scown and to Vongsavath.

Ida Valles, a Juniorettes’ friend/supporter, was recognized and received a GFWC purple tote bag imprinted with GFWC Headquarters in Washington DC and Austin.

For information about the Juniorettes, email