02/01/2008

 WVU Goes Red in Support of Women’s Heart Health
 WVU Families and Health Center Extension Specialist Elaine Bowen has her blood pressure read by WVU nursing student, Andrea Cavanaugh, at Friday’s Go Red for Women event at WVU Hospitals.

Gold and blue were overshadowed Friday, Feb.1, 2008, by a sea of red.  West Virginia University doctors, nurses and staff dressed in red as a way to raise awareness about women’s heart disease.  “Go Red for Women” is an initiative of the American Heart Association.

“This month is a reminder to women to focus on their health,” said Claudette Brooks, M.D., a neurologist and director of the Stroke Clinic in the National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health at WVU.  “Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, body fat and cholesterol levels.  Find out if you’re at risk for developing heart disease.  If you are, learn how to prevent it.”

Screenings for blood pressure and body fat, as well as heart disease risk assessments, were offered at WVU’s “Go Red” event by The Wellness Program of the WVU Health Sciences campus.  Knowing the results of these screenings is the first step in preventing a heart attack or stroke. 

A 2007 report ranks West Virginia 47th in the nation when measuring the total health status of women in the state.  The report, “Making the Grade on Women’s Health,” shows West Virginia ranks 46th in the nation in the number of women who die from heart disease.  West Virginia women also rank higher than women in nearly every other U.S. state for heart disease risk factors, like high blood pressure, being overweight and smoking.

“We hope that by participating in the “Go Red” campaign at WVU, more women in West Virginia will think about whether they’re at risk for developing heart disease and what they can do to change that,” said Laura Davisson, M.D., clinic director for the National Center for Excellence in Women’s Health at WVU.   “Healthier women tend to have healthier families, since women often influence their families’ diet and exercise and schedule doctor visits.”
 
WVU offers one of only 21 nationally designated Centers of Excellence in Women’s Health (CoEWH). This designation is awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Women’s Health. 
The mission of the West Virginia CoEWH is to improve the health and well being of all women in West Virginia through education, research, clinical care, community partnerships and promotion of leadership by women. 

To make an appointment with a CoEWH healthcare provider at WVU please call (304) 598-4880.

For more information on the National Center for Excellence in Women’s Health at WVU, visit http://www.wvhealthywomen.org/.

Friday’s “Go Red” event at WVU was also sponsored by The Wellness Program of the WVU Health Sciences campus and the American Heart Association (AHA). 

For more information on The Wellness Program, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/wellness

For more information on the American Heart Association, visit www.americanheart.org.

- WVU -


08-020
For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
johnsa@wvuh.com
ec: 02-01-08

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