Go Red For Women is an initiative created by the American Heart Association to dispel the myths and raise awareness of heart disease and stroke as the number one killer of women. The campaign is a passionate, emotional, social movement designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health.
Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action.
Go Red For Women is going strong in Kansas City. Shawnee Mission Health is proud to be the 2018 local presenting medical sponsor of the movement. “The Go Red for Women movement harnesses the energy, passion and power women have to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. It also gives them the tools they need to lead a heart-healthy life,” said Ashley McDonald, Director of Marketing at Shawnee Mission Health. “Additionally, this movement aligns with Shawnee Mission Health’s initiatives focused on women’s health through our LIV Whole and Take Time to LIV community programs.”
Go Red For Women
Dr. Heath Wilt and Dr. Lauren Bessey of Shawnee Mission Health serve as the 2018 Go Red For Women Medical Co-Chairs.
Bessey is a family practice physician who believes in educating and empowering people to make healthy decisions. Patients of all ages welcome her professional, approachable style. Bessey likes to run, bike, and is an avid quilter. She’s the wife of Dr. Jason Bessey, and mother of three active youngsters.
Dr. Heath Wilt is a cardiologist with a strong commitment to an integrative and personalized approach to patient care. He believes each treatment plan should be uniquely directed and individualized to meet the patient’s personal goals and needs, spending time to ensure the patient understands each aspect of their medical care. When he’s away from the hospital, Dr. Wilt spends his time actively engaged with his family, enjoying outdoor activities, traveling, and cooking with his wife and three boys.
Dr. Wilt considers Kansas City his hometown and has been proudly serving patients at Shawnee Mission Medical Center since joining Shawnee Mission Cardiovascular Associates in 2016.
“We know that women are caregivers, and are constantly making time to care for others in their lives. We also know that women live very busy lives, and are constantly on-the-go. What we hope to instill in women is the importance of taking care of themselves and their heart,” said Wilt.
“Historically, heart disease and heart attacks have been predominantly associated with men. Men have been the subjects of the research to understand heart disease and stroke, which has been the basis for treatment guidelines and programs. This led to an oversimplified, distorted view of heart disease and risk, which has worked to the detriment of women,” said Bessey.
BRINGING IMPORTANT AWARENESS
“Through Go Red for Women, the American Heart Association brings important awareness to women and heart disease. In fact, only 55 percent of women realize heart disease is their No. 1 killer and less than half know what are considered healthy levels for cardiovascular risk factors like blood pressure and cholesterol. Through the work of the American Heart Association and the efforts at Shawnee Mission Health, women can better understand the symptoms and their personal risk factors,” said Vickie Franck, Executive Director of Heart & Vascular Services at Shawnee Mission Health.
AMERICAN HEART MONTH
February is American Heart Month, a federally designated event. The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages all Americans to focus on their hearts and to get families, friends and communities involved. To kick off American Heart Month, Friday, February 2 is National Wear Red Day and you’re invited to wear red and show your support for heart disease and stroke survivors and their families. Together, we can build a culture of health in Kansas City.
2018 Kansas City
Go Red For Women Chairs
Kourtney Govro, Sphere3; Cindy Reynolds, Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery
Dr. Lauren Bessey, Shawnee Mission Health, Family Medicine;
Dr. Heath G. Wilt, Shawnee Mission Health, Cardiovascular Disease