Go Red for Women puts the heart in Valentine's Day

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing one in three deaths each year. But 10 years ago, heart disease was still considered a man's issue, with little research on its impact on women.

That's why the American Heart Association launched its Go Red for Women campaign, encouraging women to learn more about the disease.

"It didn't start off to be this big of an event," said Anne Casey, regional director of the American Heart Association, which will host Rochester's 10th annual Go Red for Women Luncheon on the most heart-tastic holiday of all, Valentine's Day.

This year's keynote speaker is Dr. Sharon Mulvagh, a clinical cardiologist and director of the Women's Heart Clinic at Mayo Clinic. She is an active investigator in clinical imaging research, and an internationally recognized educator and speaker on cardiovascular imaging and women's cardiovascular issues.

Mulvagh was also the medical chairwoman for the inaugural Go Red For Women American Heart Association Luncheon in Rochester.


She got the movement started here and has stayed involved every year, Casey said, noting that the information from the health screening of willing participants at the luncheon supports the research that Mulvagh is doing at the Women's Heart Clinic.

The goal of the free health screenings, however, is really to help women "know their numbers" — blood pressure, cholesterol and others — to better understand their risk for heart disease, Casey said.

In addition to educating women about the importance of heart health, the campaign also works with medical professionals to provide better treatment for women.

It's all done for women by women in a sometimes-lighthearted way.

In addition to the health screenings and education, the luncheon features a diva salon, a fashion show with models who've been impacted by heart disease, and a silent auction, which this year will feature 10 big packages to celebrate the 10-year anniversary.

"It's a fun event, especially being Valentine's Day," Casey said.

What: Go Red for Women Luncheon


When: Feb. 14. Heart health information sessions, health screenings, diva salon, fashion show and silent auction from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Luncheon and speaker at 11:45 a.m.

Where: Rochester International Event Center, 7333 Airport View Drive S.W., Rochester.

Tickets: $50. Reservations due by Thursday. Proceeds benefit the American Heart Association and Go Red for Women.

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