February is National Heart Month. Fifteen years ago the American Heart Association (AHA) started the Go Red for Women movement and encouraged everyone to wear red on the first Friday in February to raise awareness about the number one killer of women—heart disease—and to raise awareness on overall heart health. Women believed the disease killed more men than women, when in fact, over a third of all deaths of women over the age of 20 each year are women—that’s about 432,000 women.
Today, 42 million women are currently living with some form of cardiovascular disease. Even though this number seems large, the Go Red movement has impacted change, including healthy lifestyle changes and encouraging women to speak with their doctors about their health. The #GoRedGetFit initiative is a quarterly health and fitness challenge sponsored by the AHA and Go Red for Women to encourage healthy living and “to influence and encourage real women like YOU!” Their Facebook group is public, and women can share stories, learn from others, and motivate each other to get and stay fit.
ACT’s Corporate Giving program has supported the Go Red movement for several years through a year-long giving program. A portion of this support has gone to the Johnson County (Iowa) Go Red for Women Luncheon as the keynote speaker sponsor. A benefit of this sponsorship is hosting the keynote speaker on campus at ACT for team members. This year’s speaker was Dr. Ian Law, clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Dr. Law spoke with ACT team members about heart disease and how it is a significant problem across all ages. Did you know congenital heart disease is the number one birth defect? Know your numbers and take action. Your heart depends on it!