'Ladies in Red' event brings focus to womens' heart health
Above, Monty Lowans, Director of Nutrition and Food Services for Baptist Health Corbin, gave a healthy cooking demonstration during Ladies In Red last Thursday,
More women die every year of heart disease in the United States than cancer.
Over 500 people, mostly women, heard that surprising fact during Baptist Health Corbin’s “Ladies in Red” banquet held last Thursday at The Arena in Corbin.
The event, now in its sixth year, is organized by the hospital’s Community Health Services division and is a way to stress the importance of cardiovascular health for women, and guide them in ways to better understand, avoid or manage cardiovascular disease.
“We are exceeding males in deaths. When you look at the data … cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death of females,” said Marisa Greer, a registered nurse and Associate Professor at Somerset Community College. She spoke to those in attendance about the importance of being on the lookout for the signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease in women, which are often very different than for men.
She said about 419,000 woman in the U.S. lose their lives to the disease annually, and 515,000 will have their first heart attack.
“It’s equal to one of us dying every minute in the U.S.,” she said. “I don’t know about you, but I think there should be bells and whistles and that should make the evening news, but we don’t see enough about it.”
Greer encouraged women to get aggressive when it comes to their health. She told them to ask for copies of blood tests from their doctors showing vital statistics like cholesterol levels. She also said it is a good idea of regular monitor blood pressure and keep track of results taken at the doctor’s office.
Women tend to take on many roles in the family and are often overworked and stressed out, leaving little time for health concerns.
“We take on multiple roles and wear multiple hats because that is our nature,” Greer said. “We need to start taking care of ourselves.”
Baptist Health Corbin President and CEO Larry Gray gave opening remarks during the banquet saying it was worthwhile because it “reminds ourselves of what it means to be healthy and make healthy choices about our own hearts so that we might be healthy in our work together and our community life together.”
“What really matters is that you are taking time our of your schedule to come together in this place to celebrate our health and learn more about what we can do to continue to be healthy,” he added.
Gray’s wife, Mary Ida Gray, prayed before the meal.
Monty Lowans II, Director of Food and Nutritional Services for Baptist Health Corbin, provided a demonstration of some healthy cooking recipes while Matti Daniels, County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Science, spoke about healthy food choices women can make in their daily lives.
The event was capped off with some exercise in the form of Zumba led by Baptist Health Corbin Massage Therapist Kelly Burton. Afterward, attendees got to interact with vendors set up at the event.
Lee Richardson, Director of Community Health Services for Baptist Health Corbin, and one of the principal planners of the event, said she feels that “Ladies in Red” is an “eye opener” for many women who don’t realize how vast a problem heart disease is for women.
“I think this is one of the best one of these we’ve done to date,” Richardson said. “We are trying to educate women to be heart healthy and take of themselves. So many women are always taking care of others, but not taking care of themselves. That’s got to change.”
“Ladies In Red” is a free event that is paid for mainly with money raised during the hospital’s annual “Silver Ball Gala.”
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