Special to The Dorchester Banner/Dorchester Health Department
Front row, from left: Julie Jones, Angela Mercier. Second row: Heather Walker, Kara Eckels, Donna Reed, Tere Hernandez, Theresa Hines, Tamika Watson, Terri Hughes. Third row: Sandy Wilson, Cheryl Bailey, Pam Quillen, Carla Todd, Glenda Vaughan, Lanise Mohn, Helen Moore, Alexzine Jackson-Slaughter. Back row: Ruth Baker, Sara O’Neil, Christine English, Barbie Phillips, Brice Strang, Leigh Carels, Sandra Moore-Brown, Sandy Bland, Alan McIntee, Lori Conklin, Roger Harrell.[/caption] CAMBRIDGE – To raise awareness among women that heart disease is their #1 health threat, Dorchester County Health Department employees wore red on National Wear Red Day®, Feb. 6. Since the American Heart Association (AHA) and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) created National Wear Red Day® in 2002, awareness that heart disease is the leading killer of women has nearly doubled. According to Angela Mercier, a member of Dorchester County Health Department’s Employee Wellness Committee, “Celebrating National Wear Red Day® is an easy way to join together and motivate each other to improve our heart health.” To promote the event, the Committee shared information about risk factors for heart disease and ways to lower those risks with employees. “It’s just one of the activities our Employee Wellness Committee is doing for American Heart Month in February.” In addition to wearing red, employees are participating in a workplace challenge to reduce stress. Women should know their risk for heart disease by visiting a health care provider, make healthy choices every day, and know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Some heart disease risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, physical inactivity, smoking, and overweight/obesity. Having just one of these increases the risk for heart disease by 40 percent for women ages 40-60. Multiple risk factors multiply your risk. For more information about women and heart disease, please visit http://www.hearttruth.gov or www.goredforwomen.org or call the NHLBI Health Information Center at 301-592-8573.