Today, Feb. 1, marks the first day of Heart Month and ProMedica, a nonprofit health system, is ready to make a splash with a year-long sponsorship with the American Heart Association. It’s an effort to join forces to raise awareness of the leading cause of death in the United States.
In Lucas County, where ProMedica is based, the statistics speak for themselves. Most recent data from the 2014 Lucas County Health Needs Assessment showed heart disease as the leading cause of death among women over age 19 in the county from 2006-2008. It was responsible for 28% of all deaths among women in Lucas County and 25% of all deaths among women in Ohio.
To raise awareness of the impact and need for heart disease prevention, ProMedica will have special messages and events beginning in February and lasting throughout the year. During Heart Month, the ProMedica logo will even change from green to red in honor of this important initiative.
Randy Oostra, CEO and President of ProMedica, said that the switch from green to red is just one way of raising awareness in the community. “We’ve turned our logo red — all with the idea of asking people to think about cardiovascular disease and stroke, creating awareness and trying to make sure that people understand that this is a huge health issue,” he said.
The initiative ties back to ProMedica’s Mission to improve health and well-being, and use data from the Community Health Needs Assessment to determine the largest needs of the local community. “When you look at heart disease and the impact of heart and stroke on people’s lives, it is one of the most significant health issues in our country,” said Oostra.
“If we want to change the health status of our community we need to encourage people to hold each other accountable.”
James Bingle, MD, FACC, a cardiologist with ProMedica Physicians said heart health initiative is very close to his heart. “Heart disease has affected me since I was 17. While I knew my dad had heart problems, I didn’t really know the extent of his heart disease,” he explained. “His death was the biggest thing that ever happened in my life. It changed things dramatically because he was a big influence in our lives and was taken from us because of a preventable disease.”
“If we want to change the health status of our community we need to encourage people to hold each other accountable,” added Dr. Bingle.
Lifestyle factors play a key role in the prevention of heart disease. Being overweight or obese, having high blood pressure, having high cholesterol, smoking or having diabetes are all factors that can increase your risk for heart disease.
“When people are better educated about their health they become more logical when making their choices and healthcare decisions,” said Dr. Bingle. “Our Mission is people’s health, that’s as simple as it gets. And this is as impactful as it gets.”
Take charge of your heart health today. Visit ProMedica’s Go Red webpage and the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women to learn more. And watch this video below to hear from Randy Oostra, ProMedica CEO and President, on the importance of this powerful initiative.