On Feb. 5, 2010, the Hilltop will Go Red For Women. All SMU faculty, staff and students are invited to wear red to the Main Quad area for a group photo to celebrate National Wear Red Day and February as Heart Health Month.
Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association‘s national campaign to increase awareness of heart disease – the leading cause of death for women – and to inspire women to take charge of their heart health.
The need for education is especially acute, says Kym Sosolik, director of leadership and organizational development in SMU’s Cox School of Business Executive Education, who coordinated the University’s Go Red For Women events. “Heart disease in women presents different symptoms than it does in men,” she says. “Not nearly enough women are aware of that, and many may have heart disease without knowing it.”
Family history motivates her as well. “This is important to me, because my father and grandfather died from heart disease,” she adds. “Several years ago I was diagnosed with hypertension, and it has been a challenge to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Go Red For Women has four components, Sosolik says:
- Public education to increase awareness of heart disease as the No. 1 killer of women
- Educating healthcare professionals to assure that providers treat women according to guidelines
- Educating lawmakers about the issues
- Raising funds for women’s awareness, education and research programs
The University community can participate in several educational opportunities through attendance at the 2010 SMU Women’s Symposium on March 3 and special features on the SMU Wellpower website.
In addition, the Wellpower program will present “Lunch & Learn” events to provide women of every generation with tips on healthy eating, exercise and risk factor reductions such as smoking cessation, weight maintenance, blood pressure control and cholesterol management.
Go Red For Women is cosponsored by SMU, SMU Wellpower, the SMU Women’s Symposium and the American Heart Association. Faculty and staff members can earn 1 Wellpower Spirit point for attending the photo event.