|April 30, 2004||"The Heart Truth" Web site - En Español|
HEART TRUTH CAMPAIGN, RED DRESSES FEATURED AT HEALTH FAIR
SPRINGFIELD, Ill -- To raise awareness of heart disease as an important women's health issue, the national Heart Truth Campaign and its Red Dress Project will be featured at a health fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 4 in the rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol building.
Coordinated by the Illinois Department of Public Health, the event is open to the public and is being held to highlight National Women's Health Week, May 9-15. Health and medical providers will offer educational exhibits and free health screenings for heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure. Legislators and others are encouraged to wear red - red dresses or red pantsuits for women and red ties for men.
"The purpose of the event is to raise awareness that women should take their heart health seriously and personally," said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director. "While many may think cancer is the No. 1 killer of women, the fact is that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and Illinois. It is never too early or too late to take action to prevent and control the risk factors. A woman should talk to her health care provider about her risks for heart disease and take steps to lead a heart healthy life."
Almost 16,000 Illinois women died of heart disease in 2002, compared to 12,000 from cancer and 4,500 from stroke.
Launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Heart Truth Campaign features a Red Dress as the symbol for women and heart disease awareness. The Red Dress Project includes a traveling collection of red dresses contributed by top fashion designers, and four of the dresses will be on display May 4 at the state Capitol. The Red Dress signals a red alert that heart disease doesn't care what you wear - it's not just a man's disease.
A news conference focusing on women's health and heart disease also will be held May 4 at 10:30 a.m. in the Capitol's Blue Room. Participants are to include state Reps. Monique Davis, D-Chicago; Susana Mendoza, D-Chicago; and Patricia Bellock, R-Hinsdale, representing the Conference of Women Legislators; Sharon Green, deputy director, Illinois Department of Public Health, Office of Women's Health; a cardiovascular disease survivor; and Dr. Holly Novak, a cardiologist with Prairie Heart Institute, Springfield.
"We hope legislators and the public will take the time to visit the health fair and learn about the risk factors for heart disease," Dr. Whitaker said. "What's more, we encourage everyone to promote Heart Truth awareness by wearing red on May 4."
Exhibits and health screenings will be on the first floor of the Capitol and include displays from several Department programs, as well as the American Heart Association, Memorial Health Systems, Prairie Heart Institute, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, St. John's Hospital, the Springfield Department of Public Health, the Sangamon County Health Department, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region V Office on Women's Health.
Also in conjunction with National Women's Health Week, the Illinois Department of Public Health will host a Women's Health Fair on May 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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