SVMHS Presents MEGA Heart and MEGA Lungs at the California International Airshow Salinas

SVMHS Presents MEGA Heart and MEGA Lungs at the California International Airshow Salinas


By: Ernesto Altamirano

SALINAS, CA – Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) hosted the most popular exhibit during the 39th annual California International Airshow in Salinas this weekend, the gigantic inflatable MEGA Heart and MEGA Lungs.


Hundreds of middle school students from Salinas, Soledad, Greenfield and King City, as well as students from Youth Orchestra Salinas (YOSAL) were given tours of these impressive exhibits by SVMHS employees who volunteered their time on Saturday and Sunday. These tours and presentations took place Saturday and Sunday morning as part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Runway, which was the largest one to date.


Healthy habits help children grow up happy and healthy as well as contribute to preventing future health problems and with the help of the MEGA Heart and MEGA Lungs exhibits, they were able to get a clearer understanding of the importance of making healthier decisions.

HB4116James Lewis, Clinical Exercise Physiologist at SMVHS, volunteering at the MEGA Heart Exhibit

Even though children and teens usually don’t show the symptoms of heart disease, the silent buildup of plaque (fatty deposits) can start in childhood and can have a serious impact on their adult life.  One of Salinas Valley Memorial’s dedicated volunteers at the MEGA Heart exhibit, James Lewis, a Clinical Exercise Physiologist, talked to the young children about the importance of cardiac wellness in terms that were easy to understand and put in to practice by explaining how to avoid the heart from overworking by doing simple things such as eating healthy foods and exercising regularly, because as he mentioned, “the heart is already working too hard already”.


At the MEGA Lungs exhibit, Marguerite Walker, Respiratory Care Practitioner at SVMHS, talked about the health risks of vaping. “E-cigarettes contain nicotine, a very addictive drug found in traditional tobacco cigarettes,” said Walker. “One pod contains roughly the same amount of nicotine found in twenty cigarettes.” During the tour, Walker encouraged the young participants to take the “NOPE” – “Not One Puff Ever” pledge.

HB4116Marguerite Walker, Respiratory Care Practitioner at SVMHS, encouraging young students to take the “NOPE” oath at the MEGA Lungs Exhibit

Childhood is the best time to learn the healthy habits that can last a lifetime. The earlier in life a child builds good, healthy habits, the easier it is to keep them for the best possible health and Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System made this learning activity fun for them at the California International Airshow’s STEM Runway.

The Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), Hartnell College, The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, the Watsonville Police Department, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, KION 5 46, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) also took part in this year’s educational and interactive STEM Runway presentations which were free for hundreds of children and their families.

For more information about Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System visit


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