February Is American Heart Month

By Camille Rees, Guest Writer
A group of red items for American Heart Month

By Camille Rees, Guest Writer

February is American Heart Month, and Feb. 7 was designated “National Wear Red Day” by the American Heart Association.

The American Heart Association has sponsored the “Go Red for Women” campaign for 10 years. The message: heart disease is the number one killer of women.

Did you know that more women die of heart disease than men?  In fact, it is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. Over the years, the red dress has become the symbol of the fight against heart disease in women.

The American Heart Association is encouraging everyone to wear red, learn their risks for heart disease, and take action.

Occupational Health Services (OHS) has pledged to join this fight against heart disease.

“We are striving to raise awareness of heart disease in women with educational offerings, blood pressure, and cholesterol/glucose screenings,” said Sarah Hooper, RN, manager of OHS.

What can you do now?

  • Learn your risk factors for heart disease, which include high cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, obesity, and a sedentary life style.
  • Practice more healthy behaviors—exercise more, quit smoking, reduce your weight, and limit salt intake.
  • Learn how the symptoms of heart disease and stroke differ in men and women.
  • Spread the word about women and heart disease to your mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends.

Stop by OHS in Building 426 for blood pressure screenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 12:30 to 1 p.m. (walk-ins are welcome, no appointment necessary), and cholesterol/glucose screenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 8:15 a.m. (appointment necessary). Educational materials are available in the waiting room, or you may call 301-846-1096 to speak with a health care professional.

Visit the Advanced Technology Research Facility (ATRF), room 1006, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., for blood pressure screenings, educational materials, or to speak to a health care professional.

OHS has a limited number of red bracelets and stretch bands with exercise instructions that will be provided free, as long as supplies last.

Camille Rees, CRNP, CDE, is a nurse practitioner at Occupational Health Services.

A group of people wearing red

Occupational Health Services staff wore red for “National Wear Red Day” on Feb. 7. Back row, from left: Janine Bahsali, Sarah Hooper, Debbie Schuchardt, Carolyn Cable, Terri Bray, Siobhan Tierney, Margaret Slaughter, Coleen Tabler, Kelly Hutzell, Rose Saad, and Nkechi Ileka; front row, from left: Camille Rees, Esther Shafer, and Will Sheffield.

Rose Saad (OHS) takes Deborah Wilsker’s (ADRD) blood pressure during the OHS Wear Red Day event.

Esther Shafer, a Werner H. Kirsten student intern in OHS, led stretch band exercises at the OHS Wear Red Day event.