Allegheny Health Network Celebrates Go Red for Women, Heart Month with Numerous Events

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The hospitals of Allegheny Health Network (AHN) this month will mark the 15th year of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Go Red For Women movement, in conjunction with Heart Month, by hosting a series of events to raise awareness for cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Indu Poornima

Unfortunately, many women do not recognize their risk of heart disease as well as they should.

As the leading cause of death in the U.S., cardiovascular disease kills one woman every 80 seconds, and one in three American women is expected to die eventually of heart disease or stroke. In the ongoing battle to make a dent in those sobering statistics, the hospitals of Allegheny Health Network (AHN) this month will mark the 15th year of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Go Red For Women movement, in conjunction with Heart Month, by hosting a series of events to raise awareness for cardiovascular disease.

The AHA created Go Red For Women to help dispel the myth that heart disease is an older man’s disease and raise awareness of heart disease and stroke in women. In addition to being the number one cause of death in American women, cardiovascular disease kills almost twice as many women every year than all forms of cancer combined. In support of the AHA’s nationwide call, AHN is encouraging all of its employees to dress in red on Friday, Feb. 2 in celebration of National Wear Red Day.

“Unfortunately, many women do not recognize their risk of heart disease as well as they should,” said Indu Poornima, MD, cardiologist and Director, AHN Women’s Heart Center. “It is crucial that we continue to work with women to make them aware of their risk factors and help them know the signs of heart disease and heart attacks, and that they understand those signs can be different between women and men.

“For example, while chest pain is a tell-tale symptom of a heart attack for both sexes, women are more likely to suffer other pains – such as in the jaw, shoulder, or arm – that they may not consider to be signs of a possible heart attack. Recognizing and responding to those signs can be a life-saver.”

With a focus on helping women gain a greater awareness of cardiovascular disease and teaching them the proper preventive measures, the AHN Women’s Heart Center provides female patients access to an array of gender-specific preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic heart-related services. On Monday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m., Dr. Poornima and her colleague at the Women’s Heart Center, Valentyna Ivanova, MD, will discuss women’s heart health on KDKA-AM’s “Medical Frontiers” call-in show.

Also this month, the STAR Center at AHN (located in the West Penn Hospital School of Nursing); Forbes Hospital Prehospital Services; and Canonsburg Hospital Prehospital Services will offer free “Friends and Family CPR and AED” training classes at those locations on Saturday, Feb. 10. This community-designed program is intended for those who do not require certification.

“While we continue to make progress in the battle against cardiovascular disease, nearly 90 million people in the U.S. still experience some form of the disease,” said Srinivas Murali, MD, Director of AHN’s Cardiovascular Institute. “The various events planned across AHN this month play a role in raising awareness about the steps that must be taken to reduce risks and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes.”

Additional Go Red For Women and Heart Month events at AHN in February include the following:

Allegheny General Hospital

  • Wednesday, Feb. 14 and Feb. 21, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., outside hospital cafeteria, 320 East North Avenue, Pittsburgh. AGH nurses will perform free blood pressure screenings. Open to the public and employees.

Allegheny Valley Hospital

  • Friday, Feb. 2, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., in main hallway and cafeteria conference room, 1301 Carlisle Street, Natrona Heights. AVH nurses will perform free blood pressure screenings; giveaways and educational materials will be offered, as well as healthy snacks for those wearing red.

Canonsburg Hospital

  • Friday, Feb. 2, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the hospital cafeteria, 100 Medical Boulevard, Canonsburg. American Heart Association (AHA) red dress pins and paper hearts will be sold, educational materials will be offered, and the cafeteria will feature heart-healthy and “red” menu items.
  • Sunday, Feb. 11, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Kids’ Play Area in front of Macy’s, South Hills Village Mall. Cardiac risk assessment and materials about cardiac rehab at Canonsburg will be offered.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 13, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., conference room adjacent to the cafeteria. “Race to No Place” stationary bike team competition. Support your favorite team by placing money in donation bags. Proceeds will benefit the Canonsburg 2018 AHA Heart Walk team.
  • Friday, Feb. 23, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., adjacent to cafeteria. Cupcake Wars competition and bake sale, proceeds benefiting Canonsburg’s AHA Heart Walk. Cupcakes will be judged on presentation, texture and taste.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 27, 4 to 7 p.m., in Therapy Services department, Cardiac Rehab Open House event.

Forbes Hospital

  • Friday, Feb. 2, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Forbes Learning Centers and hallway to 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.

Jefferson Hospital

  • Friday, Feb. 2, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the hospital’s J Cafe, 565 Coal Valley Road, Jefferson Hills. Sale of National Wear Red Day pins and paper hearts; educational materials will be offered, and the cafeteria will feature heart-healthy and “red” menu items.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 7, 7 to 8:30 p.m., in the James Bibro Building, Jefferson Room. Presentation by Dr. Glen Miske, DO, Director of EP lab, Jefferson Hospital.
  • Friday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the J Cafe. Cupcake Wars competition and bake sale, proceeds benefiting Jefferson’s Heart Walk.
  • Friday, Feb. 16, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the hospital 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.

Saint Vincent Hospital

  • Friday, Feb. 2, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., hospital cafeteria, 232 West 25 Street, Erie. AHA representatives and members of Saint Vincent’s Cardiovascular Institute team will be in the cafeteria to distribute educational materials about the importance of prevention and how best to care for oneself after undergoing cardiac procedures. The cafeteria will feature heart-healthy and “red” menu items, as well.
  • Friday, Feb. 16, 5:30 to 8 p.m., Ambassador Conference Center, 7794 Peach Street, Erie. Erie Heart Health Seminar: At this free event, learn about prevention, current treatments for heart disease, and the cutting-edge heart treatments that are on the horizon. Talk with physicians one-on-one, take heart-healthy screenings, and get hands-only CPR training. A light meal and refreshments will be served. Call 814.451.8019 by Feb. 14 to register.

West Penn Hospital

  • Monday, Feb. 5, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., West Penn Hospital Wintergarden, 4800 Friendship Ave., Pittsburgh. Stop by for giveaways, blood pressure screenings, healthy living tips, express manicures, basket raffle tickets, and onsite access to various vendors.

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About the Allegheny Health Network
Allegheny Health Network (AHN.org), a Highmark Health company, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater Western Pennsylvania region. The Network is composed of eight hospitals, including Allegheny General Hospital, its flagship academic medical center in Pittsburgh, Allegheny Valley Hospital in Natrona Heights, Canonsburg Hospital in Canonsburg, Forbes Hospital in Monroeville, Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Hills, Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie, West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh and Westfield Memorial Hospital in Westfield, NY. The Network provides patients with access to a complete spectrum of advanced medical services, including nationally recognized programs for primary and emergency care, cardiovascular disease, cancer care, orthopedic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, women’s health, diabetes and more. It also is home to a comprehensive research institute; Health + Wellness Pavilions; an employed physician organization, home and community based health services and a group purchasing organization. The Network employs approximately 17,000 people, has more than 2,800 physicians on its medical staff and serves as a clinical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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Doug Braunsdorf
Allegheny Health Network
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