The Woodward News

April 23, 2013

Hospital sets Healthy Woman event Thursday

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — A board certified cardiologist will be sharing some free advice for women this Thursday as part of a Healthy Woman event at Woodward Regional Hospital.

Dr. Jeffrey Sparling will be discussing the importance of heart health as it specifically relates to women.

"Primarily we're focusing on women's heart health and how women can exhibit signs of cardiovascular disease different from men, as well as signs of disease and stroke, and general statistics about heart disease in women," Sparling said.

The Healthy Woman program will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Woodward Regional Hospital (WRH) cafeteria, with healthy snacks provided.

Dr. Sparling was originally scheduled to present his heart health program in late February, to coincide with American Heart Month.  But the event had to be postponed due to a major snowstorm.

While American Heart Month is over, WRH Marketing Director Lori Messenger said the hospital still wanted to hold the event "because women's heart health is important year round."

"It's something that women need to learn about, to learn healthy habits and put them into practice every day," Messenger said.

Those attending Thursday's event are encouraged to wear red, and the first 50 women who arrive will receive a gift, "a red dress lapel pin," Messenger said.

The pin is a symbol of the American Heart Association's (AHA) Go Red for Women movement.

According to goredforwomen.org, by 2003 cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, and yet heart disease was not garnering the attention it merited. In 2004, the AHA created the Go Red For Women movement, which is described as a passionate social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health by promoting awareness of the dangers of cardiovascular disease.

"Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the US. A lot of people think about men having heart attacks, but it actually affects a lot of women as well," Messenger said.

That's why women of all ages are invited and encouraged to attend Thursday's program to learn more about how they can protect their hearts, she said.

"We just encourage everyone to come out," Messenger said.  "Dr. Sparling is a really good speaker and it should be a fun, informative evening."