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VOL. 126 | NO. 20 | Monday, January 31, 2011

Jeremy Park

Giving Back by Wearing Red

JEREMY PARK

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Last week we talked about the success of Memphis College Prep and the Jubilee Schools, as well as the importance of scholarships. This week, as we head into February – American Heart Month – let us look at how we can raise awareness for heart disease by “going red.”

This Friday, Feb. 4, individuals and businesses across the nation will be “going red,” as a part of the American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day. Wearing red helps raise awareness that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for women over the age of 20.

Each year, cardiovascular disease claims the lives of nearly half a million American women. In order to draw attention to this startling statistic and encourage a proactive solution, the American Heart Association launched a national campaign in 2004 titled “Go Red for Women.”

The campaign has quickly evolved into a rallying cry for women to band together to wipe out heart disease and stroke. The focus is empowerment and providing the tools and support necessary for success.

The great news is that women have the power to change these statistics. The American Heart Association notes that by choosing to walk and not sit, eating baked foods versus fried, and choosing not to smoke are three basic tenets that can lead to a healthier heart.

You can learn more about their seven simple steps to live better by visiting www.heart.org/MyLifeCheck.

It has been exciting to see the growth and increased support here in the Mid-South. We were able to play a small part in helping with the Go Red campaign last year through both Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance and the LPBC, and we have a number of great champions for the effort in our local leadership. The American Heart Association does a tremendous job of making it easy to take part and make an impact.

Both men and women are encouraged to join the Go Red for Women movement by calling 1-888-MY-HEART or visiting www.GoRedForWomen.org. Online, they layout many different ways you can take part, such as taking legislative action through letters to local state and federal officials, joining a local Go Red Passion Committee to speak out at events, shopping at their Go Red online store, or simply sharing your story.

The key lies in realizing that you can make a difference by simply helping raise awareness and encouraging others to participate.

By registering for the movement, you can receive a free red dress pin – the symbol of women and heart disease – and educational materials. Men and women both can take the Go Red Heart CheckUp to receive a free, 10-year risk assessment for developing heart disease or stroke. I encourage you to learn more by calling our local American Heart Association at 901-383-5400.

Jeremy Park, director of communications at Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance and director of the Lipscomb & Pitts Breakfast Club, can be reached at jeremyp@lpinsurance.com.

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