St. Mary’s Hosts “Cardiovascular Disease Awareness Day”

St. Mary’s Staff Members Educating the Community and Raising Awareness About the Number One Leading Cause of Death Among Women

St. Mary’s Hospital for Children’s care extends beyond the walls of the Bayside hospital, and into the community.

As part of the national Go Red for Women Day on February 6th, St. Mary’s Nursing Education department set up posters, handed out pamphlets, brochures, and related information, and spread awareness about preventing cardiovascular disease, the number one leading cause of death among women in America.

“This is a very serious issue and not many women know they are at risk, or know what symptoms to look out for,” said Alice Olwell, Program Coordinator of St. Mary’s Complementary Care Program.

Heart disease claims the life of nearly one woman every minute and St. Mary’s diverse teams of healthcare professionals are committed to educating women in the community about the risks, symptoms, and prevention measures associated with heart disease.

“St. Mary’s nursing department views education as a necessity for employees, patients, and visitors of all ages, and we host a variety of annual educational opportunities,” remarked Heather Painter, a Nurse Educator and Palliative Care nurse at St. Mary’s.

Ms. Olwell and Ms. Painter, sat by the front entrance of the hospital giving tips about healthy foods, diets, and exercise plans, and encouraged women to make regular doctor visits.

“As an educator it is our responsibility to make as many people aware as possible and empower them with the information to give to others. We handed out a variety of material from the American Heart Association including coloring books for children because you are never too young to learn to take care of your heart,” said Ms. Painter.

More importantly, Ms. Olwell and Ms. Painter both insisted that anyone who received information from St. Mary’s about cardiovascular disease, share it with friends, family, and neighbors.

“Every woman, regardless of age, race, and gender, is a target of heart disease,” remarked Ms. Olwell.

Some of the leading factors that can put women at risk for heart disease include; smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity, and diabetes.

“Focusing on screenings from medical providers, stop smoking, adjusting diets and increasing physical activity will decrease the amount of deaths from this disease,” added Ms. Painter.

St. Mary’s Nursing Education department encourages all women to speak to their doctors for more advice.