Hospital promotes ‘red’ for heart awareness

By Anthony Gonzalez agonzalez@civitasmedia.com

February 10, 2014

Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital was all red on Friday for a campaign initiated by the American Heart Association eleven years ago.

“There was a whole lot of red at the hospital today,” said Paul H. Hammes, CEO of the hospital. “Its an attention grabber (wearing the color red). Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. Today is a great day around awareness and an invitation for the community to become actively involved.”

February is American Heart Month, according to the American Heart Association.

The association’s Go Red For Women campaign asked all women to Go Red by wearing red, living a healthy lifestyle and speaking red by spreading the message that heart disease is killing our mothers, daughters, sisters and friends.

Patients joined hospital staff and executives at the Heart and Lung Rehab Gym located on the main floor of HCMH.

The reception and photo opportunity allowed advocates to raise their voices about heart disease, known as a silent killer for women.

“A big part of preventing and managing heart disease is helping the community become more educated on risk factors and to recognize signs and symptoms, and take preventative measures,” said Hammes.

“The whole (campaign) idea is designed for patients who have an existing cardiovascular condition. This facility exists for anyone who wants to use it with an eye on prevention of disease,” he said.

According to the hospital, cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program designed to help patients reduce their risk of coronary artery disease. A team of trained professionals at HCMH help patients understand risk factors for heart disease, and they give patients tools to modify lifestyle habits to support a healthier heart.

“I’ve learned a lot here. I know a lot of people here and I made a ton of friends. It’s a great stress release coming here. You get close to people like a family,” said Jim Creel of Traphill, a user of the rehab gym.

“I support heart awareness just like everyone else in here,” said Creel.

The following information was provided by the American Heart Association:

- Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women.

- Cardiovascular diseases cause one in three women’s deaths each year, killing an average of one woman every minute.

- An estimated 43 million women in the United States are affected by cardiovascular disease.

- 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.

- Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined, but is often undiagnosed.

- Cardiovascular disease kills more women than men.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or follow on Twitter @newsgonz