While heart wellness is the goal, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women aged 65 years and older. It is the third leading cause of death among women aged 25-44 and the 2nd leading cause of death among women aged 45-64. Many of these deaths are preventable through education and lifestyle changes!
The Women's Heart Wellness Committee, (formerly the Women and Heart Disease Committee) of Griffin Hospital consists of members of the Valley Parish Nurse Program, healthcare professionals and volunteers from throughout the community. Its primary focus is to increase heart disease awareness among women, empower them to love and save their hearts, and ensure they are provided the means to do so through education and support.
Annual Women's Heart Wellness Program
Held each February in conjunction with American Heart Month, this dinner program is open to all who wish to learn the latest about women's heart heath. A prominent speaker is featured. Gift item donations are solicited for a silent auction from the business community Monetary donations go into a Women's Heart Wellness Fund, from which proceeds are used throughout the year for education, outreach, and to connect women to needed services, with a primary focus on prevention.
Caring Heart Award
Established in 2009, this special award recognizes community and individual initiatives that promote and improve the general health and well being of all. The Town of Seymour received the the first Community Award for being instrumental in bringing new and innovative programs and services to the residents and employees of Seymour including placement of AEDs in all public buildings and schools, supporting efforts to become the Valley's first designated 'Heart Safe Community' and promoting healthy lifestyle changes for the police and two employees through the "Biggest Loser" program. As first recipient of the Individual Award, Dee Klingaman of Oxford was recognized as "living proof that funding and research saves lives." Dee, a heart attack victim at 40, applies her personal experience to help others understand that there are many lifestyle options that can prevent or postpone the onset of heart disease.
Desserts for the Heart
This annual program takes place in May during National Stroke Awareness Month. Women throughout the community are invited to a free educational talk on heart disease and stroke prevention. An assortment of heart-healthy desserts are served. Attendees are offered a free stroke assessment.
Caring Heart Scarves
This new initiative, offered in conjunction with Griffin's Cardiac Rehab Program, is focused on seeking volunteers who enjoy knitting or crocheting to make and distribute red scarves to female cardiac patients.