Award-Winning Reporter Adds a Heart Healthy Lifestyle to His Beat
Bruce Johnson has been a reporter and anchor for WUSA-TV9, the CBS affiliate in Washington, DC, for more than 35 years. He can be seen on TV covering city and national events or anchoring the evening news.
On assignment in Haiti
Special assignments have taken Bruce to many foreign capitals, including Moscow, Paris, Stockholm, Budapest, Tokyo, Dakar, Bangkok, Rome, and earthquake ravaged Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Bruce's broadcast journalism career has seen him earn 20 Emmy awards, thus far. In 2003 he was voted into the (SPJ) Society of Professional Journalists Hall of Fame. His civic, community and social service awards number in the hundreds.
In 1992, while on assignment in a tough DC neighborhood, Bruce suffered a sudden and massive heart attack. He was rushed to a nearby emergency room and then flown to a second hospital where emergency angioplasty successfully unclogged an artery.
Bruce Johnson and CBS Sportscaster James Brown
Bruce became convinced that he should use his near death experience and celebrity to call more attention to the toll heart attacks and cardiovascular disease were taking on people, their family and friends; and just as importantly, what people might do to avoid such fates and become more heart healthy.
His efforts began with a three-part TV series, entitled "Heart to Heart", that won the American Heart Association "Howard W. Blakeslee Award. The reports which aired on WUSA-TV in Washington were described by the AHA as "A superlative series of broadcasts that spoke eloquently and movingly about heart and blood vessel disease".
The heart attack (MI) convinced Bruce to make serious lifestyle changes. His diet became heart healthy. His exercise program became smart and with a purpose. He became a runner for the cardio benefit. Some years after his coronary and after extensive training with his doctor's approval Bruce entered and completed the 26.2 mile Marine Corps Marathon.
Running the Marine Corps Marathon
In recent years, the marathon runs have been replaced by biking, swimming, yoga and others forms of exercise.
Bruce Johnson's best and most important work was still to come.
In 2008, a friend who lost her husband to a heart attack convinced Bruce to write about his heart attack; This veteran reporter went further and found others who had also survived a heart attack or cardiovascular disease. The result was Bruce Johnson's first book, Heart to Heart, a moving and exclusive first hand account from 12 survivors who struggled to discover meaning and better lives after near death experiences.
Bruce discovered that while a lot had been written about the medical side of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease, there wasn't much information about recovery, the emotional and human side. In this book Bruce Johnson and eleven others peel back the covers of their captivating stories while also revealing the power that comes from one recovering heart patient sharing his or her story with another. This book is filled with lots of really Good News!
Even if you are not considered at risk and there is no history of cardiovascular disease in your family, Bruce believes everyone could strive for good heart health: "There is no down side to making the kind of lifestyle changes that we advocate in Heart to Heart."
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