Business Women Capture the Heart of Go Red – Leaders discuss why movement is important

According to the American Heart Association, women are twice as likely to die from heart disease then men. To confront this disease, local executive women have donated countless hours to help women recognize and reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke through the association’s Go Red For Women movement.

2009 Metro Detroit Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Team at the DIA.
Photo by Swearingen Fine Portraits

Metro Detroit’s Go Red For Women movement continues to be a valuable campaign due to the support of volunteers and local companies that generate revenue for female-focused research. This campaign has many educational features including the highly anticipated luncheon on Feb. 25, 2009.

Linda (Lin) Cummins, senior vice president of communications and government affairs for ArvinMeritor and chairwoman for the 2009 Go Red For Women Luncheon, said one of the reason’s she is involved with the movement is because of her personal story.

“My mother died of heart disease, and two of my sisters have heart disease and this will probably be my fate if I don’t become knowledgeable and take control of my health now,” said Cummins.

Cummins notes she is proud of the support the Go Red movement is getting from local businesses, especially in one of the toughest economic environments ever experienced. Cummins said it’s important to continue to build awareness of women and heart disease because it also impacts a company’s bottom line.

Vivian Pickard, director of corporate relations for General Motors and past co-chair for the Go Red campaign, joined the movement four years ago to make a difference.

“I realized that if I wasn’t educated on the health issues facing women, there may be other women not familiar with the risk factors,” said Pickard.

Another influential woman who joined the movement to raise awareness throughout southeast Michigan is Debbie Dingell vice chairman for General Motors Foundation and past co-chair for the Go Red campaign. “Women need to watch out for each other,” said Dingell. “Too many women don’t know that we are as much at risk of heart disease as men,” she added.

According to the American Heart Association, less than one in five physicians recognize that more women die of heart disease than men each year.

Dr. Joan Crawford, medical director of cardiology for St. John Oakland and medical chair for the Go Red campaign, said she found an interest in women and heart disease about 15 years ago when she learned there was a need to educate other physicians.

Crawford said it’s extremely important for women to schedule an appointment if they are not feeling well.

“Women are examples of good health habits,” said Lynn Glazewski, registered dietitian for U-M Hospital Nutrition Clinic. “We set an example for our kids at home, but those of us at the top in our careers create the culture at work.”

“It’s going to take the energy, passion, and commitment of all women if we’re going to wipe out heart disease,” said Cummins.

Metro Detroit’s Go Red For Women luncheon is slated for Wed., Feb. 25, 2009. For more information, contact Tasheena Young at (248) 936-5806.

Source: American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate

Upcoming Go Red for Women activities
-¢ Go Red for Women Red Dress Tour launches January 13, 2009.
-¢ National Casting Call at Macy’s February 7, 2009 (location TBA).
-¢ 35 Bd’s Mongolian Grill locations across the nation will Go Red & metro Detroit will feature Celebrity Guest Grillers in February.
-¢ Buildings across metro Detroit will light up red including DoubleTree Hotel of Detroit, Detroit Historical Society, McCormick & Schmick’s of Troy, UAW locations and many more.

For more information regarding these events, please contact Alicia Hoge at (248) 936-5826.

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Richard Blanchard
Rick is the Managing Editor of Corp! magazine. He has worked in reporting and editing roles at the Port Huron Times Herald, Lansing State Journal and The Detroit News, where he was most recently assistant business editor. A native of Michigan, Richard also worked in Washington state as a reporter, photographer and editor at the Anacortes American. He received a bachelor of arts from the University of Michigan and a master’s in accountancy from the University of Phoenix.