DANVILLE — Friday was National Wear Red Day and Hendricks Regional Health facilities participated to raise awareness of heart disease in women.
“Today is ‘Go Red,’ it’s the national initiative to go red to raise awareness in our own facility and to raise awareness of the public that’s coming in,” Anne Miller, director of the emergency department and emergency medical services said. “For the last week we’ve been gearing up by having information out on the hub for the local people within the hospital and we have information going out to the public.”
HRH put up exterior signs and bright red lights on its facilities, red bows and bouquets that will stay up throughout the month of February, which is American Heart Month.
This is the 10th birthday for Go Red for Women and this year HRH is putting on a raffle to get hospital associates more involved.
“We have a raffle at lunchtime where we are giving away two Coach purses that were purchased by the cardiac rehab department,” Miller said. “All of the money will go back to the American Heart Association.”
Friday was also casual sticker day where staff members could buy a sticker to wear jeans and to wear red as well. All of the money from that will also go to the AHA.
Next week they’ll be going off-site to physician offices and immediate care facilities to raise awareness.
The hospital is also encouraging anyone having a pitch-in to make it themed around heart health food or red food, and is asking participants to take photos of them.
“We’re trying to brainstorm; we’re trying to think outside the box,” Donna Haggard, director of the cardiac cath (catheterization) lab and perianesthesia services said. “We want to continue to engage the staff and to give back to the American Heart Association.”
Both Haggard and Miller deal with heart health on a day to day basis. They’re involved with caring for patient population with heart disease. They attend luncheons and each year to continue to raise awareness and go further in involving hospital associates.
“They predict approximately 500,000 women die every year from heart disease,” Haggard said. “Risk factors that are controllable are smoking, exercising, weight loss ... if you hear that you’re cholesterol is high, then modify you’re eating habits so they’re reduced.”
There are those risk factors that are uncontrollable though too, such as age and family history. But Haggard encourages people to walk a bit more, or park further away from their work.
“People don’t realize how many women really are affected by heart disease, it kills more women than all of the cancers put together,” she said. “That’s why it’s so important to raise awareness; it’s near and dear to our hearts to get the word out there.”
Some signs and symptoms that something may be wrong include shortness of breath, chest pains, fatigue, indigestion and abdominal pain.
“We need to take the time out to care for ourselves, make ourselves the priority,” Miller said. “Women are used to being the caretakers for others that they put off getting the care for themselves.”
Throughout the month of February there are various luncheons for Heart Health Month. Next week Haggard is attending an all-day meeting where she will go to the Indiana Statehouse to meet with local congress people and talk about what’s going on at the state level with healthcare ad all the initiatives around healthcare in the state.