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Go Red for Women Luncheon planned to promote heart health

According to the American Heart Association, one in three women die of heart disease and stroke each year. That statistic is why the Foster Grandparent Program of Russellville and the Franklin County Cooperative Extension System will hold a Go Red for Women Luncheon.

The free informative luncheon will be held Feb. 4 at 11:30 a.m. at the A.W. Todd Centre. The speaker will be Dr. Jeffery Chenyi, who will speak on fighting heart disease in women.

“I worked with Kari Moody, director of Medical Staffing for Russellville Hospital, to find a speaker,” said Franklin County Extension Coordinator Katernia Cole-Coffey. “Dr. Jeffrey Chenyi of Chenyi Family Medicine in Russellville earned his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Cameroon’s University of Buea and MD degree from St. Martinus University School of Medicine on the Caribbean island of Curacao.”

Chenyi Family Medicine offers family care, women’s care, occupational medical and treatment for diabetes, cholesterol and hypertension, as well as immunizations and sports physicals.

The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. The No. 1 killer of women, heart disease can take many forms, such as congestive heart failure, arrhythmia and heart valve problems. The disease is often more commonly associated with men, despite its prominent impact on women. Other heart disease myths, according to the American Heart Association, include:

  • Myth: Heart disease only impacts old people. Actually, heart disease affects women of all ages, particularly women with risk factors like smoking, having a sedentary lifestyle or being born with an underlying heart condition.
  • Myth: Heart disease doesn’t affect women who are fit. In reality, even being in shape can’t completely eliminate the risk for heart disease. Having high cholesterol or a poor diet can be contributing factors to the incidence of heart disease.
  • Myth: If heart disease runs in someone’s family, there is nothing they can do about it. This is simply untrue. Although women with a family history of heart disease are at higher risk, there’s plenty they can do to dramatically reduce it, by following American Heart Association suggestions and guidelines for heart health.

We want to raise awareness. Programs like these are what I consider lifelong learning,” Cole-Coffey said. “The Extension tries to partner with many local agencies to help spread the word about different issues and make communities more aware. There is an added value in working with other organizations. We also partner with the Foster Grandparent Program for the Annual Health Fair.

Women are encouraged to wear red to the event.

“We want people to wear red to show their support for saving women’s lives,” Cole-Coffey said. “It signifies the fight against the No. 1 killer in women, and it is the color of our hearts.”

Women should RSVP for this event by calling the Foster Grandparent program at 256-332-6800 or the Franklin County Extension, 256-332-8880, by Feb. 1. Cole-Coffey said all ages are invited, and she hopes to see a turnout of 200-plus.