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1st Degree Spotlight of the Month: WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease

Our February Spotlight is one that is near and dear to our hearts – a healthy heart that is! This month we are highlighting WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease who use American Heart Month to make sure women know their risk factors and seek treatment to lead a heart healthy life.

Founded in 1999 by Nancy Loving, Jackie Markham and Judy Mingram, three women who suffered from heart attacks in their 40s, WomenHeart is a passion project with one mission: to support women living with heart disease. Through networking and sharing their stories, they realized how invisible heart disease-related issues in women were and how often the life-threatening disease was misdiagnosed and inadequately treated. Today, WomenHeart has helped educate hundreds of thousands of women at risk or living with heart disease in the last 20 years.

1st Degree was lucky enough to work side by side with this great organization for many years to help raise awareness and spread this overwhelmingly important message. One of our favorite campaigns was in 2014 when, with the support of Burlington Coat Factory, WomenHeart members utilized a mobile marketing campaign designed by 1st Degree to travel the country as a part of the Heart of Style Campaign. The tour started in New York and ended in San Diego, visiting 44 cities from coast to coast. Thousands of women received heart health screenings with medical professionals in the mobile unit which was staged in parking lots outside of Burlington Coat Factory stores. The tour was featured in major market news media, including a segment on FOX and Friends.

In addition to providing free educational information to women across the nation, WomenHeart also has several great programs that offer emotional, peer-to-peer and community support to women in need. Their goal is to help women understand that when you are newly diagnosed with heart disease, you don’t have to figure it out alone!

This February, WomenHeart is kicking off their annual #29DaysofHeart campaign to raise awareness of heart disease in African–American women. We love this campaign because it perfectly aligns with American Heart Month and Black History Month. In addition, WomenHeart offers posts and graphics to help you be a part of this social media campaign.

Get Healthy!

Getting and keeping a healthy heart starts and ends with you and the choices you make. Here are steps you can follow to get a healthy heart this month:

  • Eat healthy: Incorporate nutritious choices in your diet and go for healthier options when it comes to a special treat. The team here at 1st Degree loves this guilt-free fudge brownie recipe!

  • Exercise: Set aside at least 30 minutes each day to get your heart pumping.

  • Heart-Check: Have your heart and blood pressure checked by a health professional. Be sure to schedule a yearly checkup or learn how to check your blood pressure and cholesterol if you know you are at risk.

WomenHeart works tirelessly to inform women everywhere of their risk, along with a few other campaigns like the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women and Heart of Truth’s #OurHearts campaign.

This year, as in years past, we will proudly wear our red on February 5th! Be sure to join us and post a picture on social media with the hashtag #GoRed and/or #1stDegreeGoesRed!

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