Bothwell to wear red Friday for heart health
By Nicole Cooke email@example.com
Friday is National Wear Red Day, which marks the 10th anniversary of the Go Red for Women movement to raise awareness for heart disease, the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.
According to the American Heart Association, the movement was started 10 years ago when research showed that heart disease killed more men than women, and that it killed more Americans than all forms of cancer combined. Since the movement was started, 34 percent fewer women now die from heart disease.
“This is the 10th anniversary of the movement, and we’ve made a lot of progress in the last 10 years,” said Stephen Hall, Communications Director for the American Heart Association in Central Missouri. “When we first started reaching out to women specifically, most did not recognize heart disease as something they should be concerned about. They thought it was a man’s disease. It’s the No. 1 killer in America, and it kills more people than the next four causes of death combined.
“We began to develop different kinds of emphasis so we could change that perception. We’ve made a lot of progress but we still have a long way to go.”
Thousands of people across the country will be wearing red in honor of the movement, including some at Bothwell Regional Health Center. This will be the second year for the hospital to participate in the event, and employees will also be helping to raise funds for the Bothwell Foundation’s Camye Callis Gaspard Memorial Heart Fund. Employees in certain departments will be able to wear jeans along with their red attire on Friday for a minimum donation of $5 to the fund.
“The fund was one of the first funds the Foundation had,” said Lisa Church, Bothwell Foundation and Communications Director. “It was named in honor of Camye. Her dad is Jim Callis, one of the charter members of the foundation board. She was a mother, had four sons, and she was a teacher at Smithton School. She was at work early one morning and started feeling bad and died suddenly, of some type of heart disease that had been undiagnosed. She was in very good shape and was a runner, so it was something they really didn’t expect.”
The fund helps pay for cardiovascular-related causes, such as purchasing AED defibrillators to put in various public Parks and Recreation Department locations several years ago, sending a physician to New York to learn more about cardiovascular procedures about six years ago, and most recently, purchasing a piece of equipment that allows doctors to perform a pathology procedure more quickly while reducing a patient’s exposure to contrast dye and radiation.
The most recent purchase was funded by the 2013 Lub Dub run, which will take place again April 26. The 5K run/walk and 10K run starts at 8 a.m., and there are a few changes this year.
“We’re going to have chip timing this year,” Church said. “You will have a chip in your bib, and there will be a mat at the line where runners start and when you cross that mat that activates your chip. It logs your time. Before it was just a running clock at the finish line. Now it will give people an accurate measure of their time.”
Registration for the run will begin in mid-February, and Church said they are still deciding how they will use the funds raised from the event, although it will be a cardiovascular-related project or equipment.
Church said BRHC’s participation in the national day of awareness, which falls during American Heart Month, is important because of the large number of cardiac cases in the area.
“We want to draw attention even among our employees to the prevalence of heart disease,” Church said. “When you look at the health factors in Pettis and Benton counties, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death. Because it’s such a problem in this area we want to make sure we draw attention to those causes, and the secondary benefit is that it helps us raise funds so we can use those monies to help improve cardiac care in the area.”
According to the American Heart Association, one in three women will die of heart disease, which in most cases is preventable, something the Go Red for Women movement hopes to raise more awareness about.
“Yes it’s the No. 1 killer of all Americans, but 80 percent of those cases can be prevented,” Hall said. “We want people to understand there are ways people can prevent it. It’s our mission to help people know how to live a heart healthy life and to avoid these types of devastating diseases.”
For more information about Wear Red Day, visit GoRedForWomen.org/WearRedDay.
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