Women’s heart health is an issue of vital importance to many members of the Southern Surgical Arts family, and they are especially vocal about this cause during the month of February, National Heart Month. At last Friday’s 3rd annual IgniteRed event, SSA shared their commitment with more than 200 of their closest friends, family, community members, and partners as they all came together to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease in women.
Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, with one in every three women dying from some form of cardiovascular issue? Many may not even realize they suffer from a heart problem until it is too late, and an estimated 44 million women are currently living with some form of heart disease.
Jennifer Deal, Marketing Director for Southern Surgical Arts and 2017 Go Red for Women Chair, is only too aware of these statistics—and is hoping events like IgniteRed will help to change them. “A lot of women just don’t know they’re at risk, and some even think of heart disease as more of a man’s disease. I encourage all women to “know your numbers.” Be familiar with your blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, and any family history of heart disease. Get a baseline check with a cardiologist and be a partner in your own health care. Don’t assume you’re fine—get checked out and know for sure.”
IgniteRed was scheduled on the first Friday in February to coincide with National Wear Red Day, in which people are encouraged to wear red to remember that heart disease is still the #1 killer of women. This year Chattanooga officially proclaimed February 3 as “go red” day for the city as well, another boost of recognition for the cause just in time for IgniteRed.
Dr. Carey Nease said, “The IgniteRed event is a great way for us to bring a lot of people together to focus on an issue that affects everyone. We all have wives, sisters, mothers, aunts, and daughters, and we’ve got to do more to make sure their health is protected. When we raise awareness, we’re touching lives, and that gives us the chance to change them for the better.”
The event was held at Southern Surgical Arts, and featured a wine and champagne bar, a sushi bar, and appetizers and desserts for the guests to munch on. Attendees also enjoyed listening to a DJ as they networked in the GoRed lounge, sampled a variety of red lip colors at the lipstick bar, or posed in the photo booth. And while the guests had fun, the main message of the night stayed at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
“We really want to see those numbers drop,” said Dr. Chad Deal. “Awareness is key, but so is making healthy lifestyle changes like giving up smoking, eating better, and exercising more. There’s so much that can be done to improve your heart health, and 80% of women’s cardiac deaths are preventable.”
“I hope everyone who attended, and everyone who reads about the event will be encouraged to take a more proactive stance in their own cardiac health, and encourage all the women in their life to do so, too. This is so important, and if all of us work together, we can make a difference,” Dr. Vincent Gardner added.
Partners for the IgniteRed event included Impressions Catering, Dish T’ Pass, Victoria Love Events, Sound Force, Imbibe, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, Flintstone Baking Company, The Clay Pot, American Heart Association Volunteers, Vivifi Creative, Allergen/Skin Medica, Maycreate, and Chattanooga Valet.
To learn more about women’s heart health, please visit the American Heart Association website.