Southwest Georgia hospital hosts National Wear Red Day for women’s heart health awareness
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC) hosted nearly 100 women on Friday in honor of National Wear Red Day.
For the entire month of February, people nationwide pay close attention to preventing and treating cardiovascular disease, which continues to be the leading cause of death for women across the world each year.
The National Go Red movement (also called National Wear Red Day) was initiated in the early 2000′s by the American Heart Association. And if you look at the chart below, you’ll see a steep decline in both women and males due to this movement.
“A lot of it has to do with awareness. Being aware of risk factors. Being aware of modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors and working on the things that we can work on: diet, exercise. Making sure we keep those things in mind as far as keeping yourself healthy will help reduce your risk of heart disease,” Dr. Luke Seibolt, Interventional Cardiologist at South Georgia Medical Center, said.
President of the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce Christie Moore says this event is important because it educates women who may not know symptoms, risk factors, or that there’s treatment available.
“Our program, Women of the Chamber, is really focused on making sure we’re supporting women with the issues that impact them the most. We have these events to talk about the issue, but also to explain what you can do to avoid some of these issues. Also, just to raise awareness in general and show that we have opportunities in our community to be supported and take care of your health needs,” Moore said.
Some female-specific risk factors are sleep apnea, gestational diabetes, depression, menopause and even pregnancy.
“Females are the backbone of our community and our families. So a lot of times they think about others before themselves. So raising awareness to make sure that females know that symptoms arise to call 911, seek help, seek assistance with physicians. Don’t dismiss symptoms or think that things may be reflux or anxiety. If there’s something that’s not right, seek help. Seek assistance. That’s very important,” Dr. Seibolt said.
South Georgia Medical Center will be wrapping up Heart Health Month with a “Listen to Your Heart” community education dinner on February 28th.
80% of heart disease is preventable through controlling modifiable risk factors. Luckily, South Georgia Medical Center is among the nation’s top-performing hospitals for the treatment of heart attack patients.
SGMC has the region’s only open-heart program. They’ve recently added services to provide cardiac electrophysiology and a structural heart program.
“Open heart and structural heart go hand and hand. In order to have a budding or growing structural heart program, you need an open-heart program to start. So it’s a great service to this community. To provide a service that we can provide locally without having to leave town for something that we can do safely,” Dr. Seibolt, said.
Moore says it is vitally important that SGMC has these programs here in our region.
“When it comes to heart health, every minute counts. So, if you’re having to be life flighted, if you’re having to be taken by an ambulance two hours away, that’s minutes that you cannot get back. So, I really can’t overstate how important it is that SGMC’s offering those services here,” Moore said.
SGMC says these new programs, along with seven new specialists, show they are focusing on more advanced heart treatments.
“We’re really proud of our national recognition from some of the chest pain guidelines. Showing that we do well from a guideline-driven standpoint. Those are accreditations that we take very seriously. And it’s not just the doctors. It’s the whole community. It’s the whole hospital. it’s the nurses, it’s the staff, that really help drive home the importance of these performance measures. We’re very lucky to have a great staff to help support us through this,” Seibolt said.
South Georgia Medical Center has received Gold Awards in multiple areas regarding cardiology. Some for eight consecutive years straight.
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