The Story of a Banker Who Became
a Heart Health Coach

Author Gene Millen 5/11/15
Gene Millen, Heart Health CoachI'm Gene Millen, the owner of this website with my wife Bernie. My heart was pounding in my chest and and my breath was coming in short, labored gasps. I was afraid a heart attack was coming any minute...and I wasn't far wrong. After about two minutes the technician stopped the instrument of torture and I was escorted to a chair for a welcome rest.

As my pulse returned to normal my brain played a flashback of my exercise motto. "If I get the desire to exercise I'll lie down until it goes away."

I was jarred back to reality by a pleasant nurse who interrupted my daydreaming to announce authoritatively, "The doctor will see you now."

As I entered the cardiologist's office he looked up from studying the results of my heart EKG treadmill test and grimly stated, "You're a walking time bomb and could have a heart attack at any time. You need to go to the hospital now!"

Three days later a highly skilled surgeon sawed open my chest and stitched in a six-pack of bypasses to my favorite arteries.

Fortunately (for me) this story has a happy ending. With the help of Cardiac Rehab I made a quick recovery and moved exercise and good and a healthy heart diet to the top of my to-do list. Twenty-one years later a total cure of heart disease is well on the way."


A Heart Health Road Map Could
Keep you from Making a Wrong Turn

A few years ago my wife Bernie and I were traveling through downtown Los Angeles after dark and pulled off the freeway for something to eat.

As we left the restaurant I took a wrong turn and just a few blocks later we found ourselves heading down a skid row street with strip clubs and neon bar signs blazing on both sides.

The sidewalks were jammed with prostitutes and other drunken, jaywalkers yelling and making gestures that were making us very nervous.

The traffic was jammed and nearly at a standstill, and as we slowly moved forward I had a grip of steel on the steering wheel, hoping for the best.

There was no way I was going to stop and ask for directions, so we just keep going and after a few terror laden blocks we sighed with relief as we saw a sign that pointed toward the freeway.

The late Jim Rohn, the wisest mentor I have known, says,

"Everyone needs a coach. You just can't think of every thing."

Has your heart health taken a detour?

A Fork in the Road. Which way is your heart health heading?

It's easy to take an unplanned detour down the wrong road...and this could cause us to end up in an unexpected and dangerous neighborhood.

One of Yogi Berra's famous sayings is, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

Anytime is a good time for reflection, and you probably have some an idea of how to reduce the risks of a heart attack such as lowering cholesterol, improving blood pressure and getting more exercise, but do you really have a plan that will help you stop a heart attack before it happens?

There is a saying that
"The best time to plant a tree is 40 years ago. The second best time is today."

I want to be your Heart Health Coach

What is a Heart Health Coach?

In his excellent book, Aspire, author Kevin Hall teaches us the source, and deeper meaning of coach.

In a small village, named Kocs, in Hungary, during the 15th century, highly skilled craftsmen produced the world's finest horse drawn carriages.

Originally crafted for aristocracy, coaches carried important people to their destinations. Over time, other forms of transportation adopted the term "coach", in honor of their town of origin.

The true meaning of coach has not changed.
A coach is"something or someone, who carries a valued person from where they are, to where they want to be."
I'm here to help, to be your advisor and heart health coach. I want you avoid the pitfalls and false starts that I have made. And I've made plenty of them.

Take some time and browse through some to the articles on our website. I think you may be surprised what you find.

Gene Millen Bio

A twenty-three year journey to Heart Health Coach

Gene Millen's road to fitness and wellness has not been an easy one. Some of the most valuable information he has learned has been in the "school of hard knocks."

Gene started in the banking business right out of high school. In 1973 he graduated with honors from the Pacific Coast School of Banking and in 1977 was chosen to be the founding president of County Bank of Merced where he presided as CEO for 15 years.

Under his management, the bank grew from zero to 500+ shareholders, $100 million in assets, 100 employees and achieved premier performing rankings.

In 1990, an unexpected near heart attack required open heart surgery to sew in a Six-Pack of replacement arteries cut from his chest and legs. This near tragedy moved heart health to the top of his priority list.

Following is a summary of his journey from banker to Heart Health Coach.

  • 1949-1992 - Banking Business. Entered banking as a trainee after graduating from high school. In 1973 graduated from the Pacific Coast Banking School with honors and organized the County Bank of Merced in 1977. Was president from 1977 to 1992.

  • Sept. 1990 - 1992 A near heart attack experience followed by open heart surgery and 200 sessions in Cardiac Rehab Program.

  • Feb. 1993 - Nov. 2004 - Started, owned and operated the Vital Life Health and Wellness Center, a health and wellness club designed for the 50+ population.


  • Created and implemented heart health and wellness programs (including monitoring of heart rate, and blood pressure) for 1200 members during this eleven year period of operation.

    Millen's heart health and wellness program receives national recognition.

    The exercise, heart health, and wellness program they developed was judged #1 in California for four consecutive years.
  • 2002 - 2012 Developed and enhanced the Heart Health for Life website. This site has 200 pages and receives more than 3,000 visitors per month./blockquote>


  • From August 2006 to March 2012 - Fitness/Wellness Director for a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Central California. Developed and implemented physical wellness programs for 200 residents.<

Heart Health Coach Certifications/Accomplishments

  • Completed Cardiac Rehabilitation Program of supervised by nurses and physician.
  • Gene has been certified as a Physical Fitness Specialist by the prestigious Cooper Clinic in Dallas Texas

  • Certified as a Medical Exercise Specialist. Training included designing exercise/wellness programs for those recovering from heart attack as well as those with high blood pressure, joint problems and more.

  • EzineArticles.Com - Achieved Platinum Author designation. Health and wellness articles have received more than 43,000 visits.

  • Publishers - Mid Valley Publications, a group of six newspapers in Merced and Stanislaus counties in California with weekly circulation of 35,000.


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