American Heart Month

By Kate Fetter, DNP, MSN, RN, EMT-P

two apples with a heart and measuring tape

In February 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson signed his Proclamation declaring February as American Heart Month (American Heart Association, n.d.). The kick-off starts on the first Friday of February as our great Nation flows the red color from sea to shining sea with the National Wear Red Day. It is also a great time to remember ways to keep these important people in your life healthy, active and aware of heart disease and its devastating effects. We all have the power to influence change in our own ways. However, to make change you need to have an awareness, an understanding of the issue. In fact, by the time it will take to read this blog, three women will have lost their life to heart disease, one every 80 seconds (American Heart Association, 2020).

The American Heart Association (AHA) has the Go Red for Women Campaign focused on bringing awareness to the fact that heart disease is the number one killer of women nationally (American Heart Association, 2020; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Why Go Red for Women? Well, the AHA knows that when women get together, they are a force to be reconded with. I am sure someone in your family would agree. So, what can you do? First, get involved with the campaign, wear red, tell people why you are wearing it. Attend an Advocacy Day at your statehouse. Arizona’s Advocacy day is February 20, 2020 from 0800 to 12 noon MST at the Arizona State Capital in Phoenix. Then, get yourself checked out. Yes, you, the one reading this blog, get a checkup! Learn about your numbers! No, not another math class, your blood pressure numbers, cholesterol levels, blood glucose readings and body mass index.

In the nursing program and other healthcare associated courses these important numbers are taught and how each of these variables play an important role in heart health. These courses also focus on how you can help someone in our care take better care of themselves. Students learn how to eat healthier, smarter and get active one-step-at-a-time!

Make yourself an appointment today with your primary care provider. Tell the provider you want to have better heart health. Get active, five times a week for an hour, get that heart muscle pumping! Then, as they tell you on the airplanes after you help yourself help another. Get your mom, sisters, aunts, grandmothers and every other woman (and man) set up for cardiovascular health.

As a member, of the AHA Education Committee, I am doing my part and I am sharing with you what you can do. As my colleague stated during our discussion on this blog, “Roses are red, violets are blue, Valentines Day is for heart health too (Ziemndorf, 2020). Let us all support one another in this cause, not just in February but throughout the year, and make February’s American Heart Month when you celebrate the successes you all have in heart health!

These are just a few of the possibilities you can pursue with your Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Grand Canyon University. Visit our College of Nursing and Health Care Professions website and click on the Request More Information button. Our online admissions application is waiting for you.

References

  • American Heart Association. (2020). American Heart Association. Retrieved from Facts About Heart Disease in Women. Retrieved from https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/about-heart-disease-in-women
  • American Heart Association. (n.d.). History of the American Heart Association: Out lifesaving history. Retrieved from American Heart Association. Retrived from https://www.heart.org/-/media/files/about-us/history/history-of-the-american-heart-association.pdf?la=en&hash=72CBC9BDE52DD37D342A3890941CD0074DD4545A
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, February 7). Lower your risk for the number 1 killer of women. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/features/wearred/index.html
  • Ziemndorf, D. A. (2020, January 14). Doctor of Nursing Practice Program Lead. (D. K. Fetter, Interviewer)

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