‘Think Inside the Box!’ Part 2: Heart of Wyoming


Body, heart, mind, spirit. Those words have been described as the four parts of the human body. In this four-part series, they will be applied to our great state of Wyoming. This week, we’re going to talk about the heart of Wyoming, or what makes it tick!

There are so many different ways that the heart of Wyoming ticks. This article will list some of the nuances of this big western heart that are specific to our great state. We can learn so much this summer with travel being limited by remembering to support our big square (actually rectangular) state and “think inside the box!”

2019 was the most successful year ever recorded for organ and tissue donation in Colorado and Wyoming according to ptcommunity.com. The website also states that, “Colorado and Wyoming boast some of the highest rates of donor registration in the country, which directly translates to more lives saved and healed through organ and tissue transplantation.”

The great seal of Wyoming is the heart of the Wyoming state flag, which was designed by Mrs. A.C. Keyes and adopted in 1917.

There is a nonprofit called “HFH: The Heart of Wyoming” which is a part of Habitat for Humanity and serves Natrona County.

Wyoming boasts a number of heart-related medical services and providers throughout the state that help mitigate the 1,001 deaths per year (cdc.gov 2017) of the No. 1 leading cause of death in Wyoming: Heart Disease. There were also 21,691 new beating hearts that came with birth certificates issued in 2018 and hearts that ceased to beat in 2019 were 36,985 in issued death certificates. (Wyoming Department of Health, Report to the Governor, 2018).

Other facts that make our hearts tick:

Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote. The largest coal mine in the United States is named Black Thunder. J.C. Penney started his stores in Kemmerer. “Old Steamboat” is the name of the horse on our current license plate.

As a reminder, just like human hearts that have some ticks (heart arrhythmias) we try to avoid, so does Wyoming. This is a good time to heed a warning from the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), “As Wyoming’s warmer days approach, avoiding ticks when spending time outdoors can also mean escaping some potentially serious diseases.”

Wyoming Heart Challenge:

Here is the second weekly challenge. The most important heart of Wyoming may belong to the person that offers service to others. Do you know someone who offers service, paid or unpaid, to others? Do you know their story? The second weekly challenge is: Look around where you live and observe someone and learn their name and story. Find out what makes them tick. 

As an example, years ago I realized I did not know the names of the checkers at a grocery store I frequented. I started learning their names. One particular woman and I got to be friendly, and after a few years, we became friends. I could almost always find her at her grocery station and if she wasn’t there, I knew it had to be one of her health issues that got in the way. She was amazing. She recently passed away. I was honored to spend the last week of her life with her in the hospital. Her service to others through her job and small talk, as well as the example she led of dedication to family and self-sufficiency, will influence me for the rest of my life.

Share what you learn with someone! Or share what you learned by commenting on the Kemmerer Gazette Face Book page or on this article at KemmererGazette.com.

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