Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Special Valentine's Day Message for African American Women

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is all about love - not just loving one another, but loving yourself!

Loving yourself includes eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly and scheduling regular health screenings and check-ups.

In recognition of Valentine's Day, today's post will feature the importance of heart health among African American women.

Did you know that:

African American women face a greater risk of death from heart disease than other races?

African American women don't get the same care of heart disease as whites because they don't get the same tests and treatment?

African American women are more likely to get heart disease because they tend to have more risk factors such as obesity, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, and diabetes?

Because of these statistics, it is important that African American women become educated about their risk of heart disease and ways they can prevent it. Ways to keep your heart healthy include not smoking; keeping a healthy weight; exercising regularly; eating heart healthy foods such as whole grain foods, vegetables and lean meats; and knowing your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels.

In an effort to educate women across the country about the importance of heart health, the Sister to Sister Foundation, a national non-profit, was founded in 2000 by Irene Pollin to prevent heart disease among women. Since then, Sister to Sister has impacted the lives of thousands of women by providing life-saving screenings. The foundation sponsors Heart Health Fairs in cities across the country, providing free cardiac screenings, immediate follow-up counseling, and educational resources.


Sister to Sister Founder and President Irene Pollin (middle) officially opens this year’s Women’s Heart Health Fairs in Washington, D.C. with WJLA-7 Anchor Maureen Bunyan (left) and Michelle Cross Fenty, First Lady, Washington, DC (right).


City of Chicago Mayor’s Office on Women, Denise Ferguson (center), who serves on the Community Council of the 2008 National Women’s Healthy Heart Campaign, poses with Neonu Jewell (left) and Nikki Bravo (right), at the Executive Women’s Event held at Chicago’s House of Blues.

Upcoming Heart Health Fair cities and dates include:

New York: Friday, February 15
Madison Square Garden
7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

St. Louis: Friday, February 15
West County Center
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Chicago: Wednesday, February 20
Merchandise Mart
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Charlotte: Saturday, February 23
South Park Mall
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Baltimore: Tuesday, February 26
Baltimore Convention Center
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Los Angeles: Wednesday, February 27
Century City (2029 Century Park East)
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Detroit: Friday, February 29
GM Wintergarden
8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

These heart health fairs are helping thousands of women learn their risk for heart disease so they can make changes to protect their hearts. Women receive FREE comprehensive heart health screenings and immediate individual counseling with a health professional to discuss the results. Also offered are engaging and fun educational seminars, fitness and cooking demonstrations, and other resources to promote heart health.

Visit the website at to obtain more information about the healthy heart fairs and other events, and to learn more about healthy living.

{Thanks Jenna}

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