PITTSBURGH, Pa. (January 31, 2019) – Cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of death in America, including killing more women every year than all forms of cancer combined. That is why once again, Allegheny Health Network (AHN) facilities in February will celebrate Heart Month and the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Go Red For Women initiative with a series of heart-focused events.
Joining the AHA’s nationwide call, AHN is encouraging all of its employees to dress in red on Friday, Feb. 1 in celebration of National Wear Red Day. It is the AHA’s signature event to kick start a month aimed at dispelling the myth that heart disease is an older man’s disease and raise awareness of heart disease and stroke in women. A complete list of events planned across AHN in February is below.
As awareness about cardiovascular disease rates among women is climbing, heart care specialists now hope to spark lifestyle changes in women that can have an impact on the sobering cardiovascular statistics.
“While women are becoming more aware of the signs of heart disease and heart attacks, we still need to focus on taking the right steps to reduce their risk and, more specifically, identify risk factors that may be unique to women,” said Indu Poornima, MD, a cardiologist and director of AHN’s Women’s Heart Center. “Diet, physical activity, weight management, smoking cessation, and properly managing blood pressure, blood sugar, and lipids are all crucial to this.”
According to the AHA, more than 66 percent of American women are overweight or obese and about 45 percent of deaths caused by cardiovascular disease are because of poor dietary habits. Additionally, only 20 percent of women in the U.S. get the recommended amount of physical activity. And roughly 50 million women in the U.S. have hypertension, with rates expected to double among women under 45 years of age in the future.
With a focus on helping women gain a greater awareness of cardiovascular disease, and teaching them the proper preventive measures, AHN’s Women’s Heart Center provides female patients access to an array of gender-specific preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic heart-related services. Women who have suffered a cardiac event will discuss their experiences for employees of AHN’s Cardiovascular Institute at a Feb. 22 luncheon at Allegheny General Hospital.
“Allegheny Health Network is once again proud to partner with the American Heart Association on the Go Red For Women movement, one of many initiatives on which we work closely with the AHA,” said Srinivas Murali, MD, Co-Chairman, AHN Cardiovascular Institute and Director, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at AHN. “Progress is being made in the battle against cardiovascular disease, but there is still work to be done as nearly 90 million men and women in the U.S. have some form of this disease. With events like those planned at AHN in February, we hope to be able to continue to reduce risks and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes.”
Go Red For Women and Heart Month events at AHN in February include the following:
Allegheny Valley Hospital
• Friday, Feb. 1, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., in main hallway, 1301 Carlisle Street, Natrona Heights. Heart health educational materials will be available.
• Tuesday, Feb. 26, 11 a.m. to noon, McNary Conference Room A, 100 Medical Boulevard, Canonsburg. Go Red For Women’s Health Lunch and Learn for the community.
• Tuesday, Feb. 26, noon to 2 p.m., McNary Conference Room B. Health fair with a variety of vendors.
• Fridays, Feb. 8, 15, 22, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the cafeteria. AHA paper hearts sale.
• Thursday, Feb. 21, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., in McNary Conference Room B. “Race to No Place” stationary bike team competition. Support your favorite team by placing money in donation bags.
• Friday, Feb. 1, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Forbes Learning Centers and hallway to hospital cafeteria, 2570 Haymaker Road, Monroeville. Get healthy living tips from the AHA and Forbes Hospital’s Cardiovascular Institute team, as well as blood pressure screenings, shoulder massages, chiropractic evaluations, express manicures, complimentary nail services, and onsite access to various vendors. The first 500 attendees will receive a gift bag.
• Throughout February, at 565 Coal Valley Road, Jefferson Hills. AHA “Little Hats, Big Hearts” red caps for all newborns at Jefferson Hospital.
• Fridays, February 8, 15, 22, in J Café. AHA paper hearts sale.
• Friday, Feb. 15, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the J Café. Cupcake Wars competition and bake sale, proceeds benefiting Jefferson’s Heart Walk. For more information, please contact Teresa Domit at 412-469-7064.
• Friday, Feb. 22, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., main lobby. “Race to No Place” stationary bike team competition. Support your favorite team by placing money in donation bags. Proceeds will benefit the Jefferson 2018 AHA Heart Walk team. For more information please call 412-469-7100.
Saint Vincent Hospital
• Friday, Feb. 1, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., hospital cafeteria, 232 West 25 Street, Erie. The AHA will be in the cafeteria to distribute educational materials and teach people about the importance of heart healthy initiatives. They will also be handing out heart health collaterals and giveaways. Also on Feb. 1, the cafeteria will be offering up a healthy treat in honor of Go Red Day and meatless wings to help benefit heart health.
• Throughout February, Café 905 and the cafeteria will have red hearts for sale that you can write your name on or the name of someone fighting heart disease and post it on the wall. The money raised by these hearts will go to the Saint Vincent Heart Walk team, for the AHA heart walk coming up later this year.
West Penn Hospital
• Friday, Feb. 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wintergarden, 4800 Friendship Avenue, Pittsburgh. Go Red For Women Fair. Will feature: blood pressure screenings, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Chef Craig healthy food cooking demo, 11 a.m.; Ask the Dietitian, 10 a.m. to 1p.m.; Ask the Cardiologist, 11 a.m. to noon; Healthy Food Center Booth, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; CPR challenge for staff, 10 a.m. to noon; Heart Healthy Jeopardy, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Wexford Health + Wellness Pavilion
• Thursday, Feb. 21, 5 to 8 p.m., 12311 Perry Highway, Wexford. AHN Women and WPXI-TV partner for the “All of Her Life” series with “Love Your Heart,” a Women’s Heart Health Open House featuring AHN Cardiovascular Institute physicians. Topics will include “Heart Health When You’re Expecting,” 5:30 to 5:50 p.m.; “Cancer and Your Heart,” 6 to 6:20 p.m.; “Living with Pulmonary Hypertension,” 6:30 to 7 p.m.; and “Managing Heart Failure,” 7:10 to 7:40 p.m. Register at AHN.org/LoveYourHeart.