Central New York bands together to save more women from heart disease and stroke

Nearly 400 people decked out from head to toe in red gathered Tuesday at the Oncenter for Syracuse’s annual Go Red for Women Luncheon to raise awareness and help fund the fight against heart disease and stroke, which claim the lives of more women than all forms of cancer combined.

“The Go Red for Women Luncheon is not just about wearing red. This is about all of us standing together and doing something to fight our No. 1 killer, which claims the lives of 1 in every 3 women. Losing even one woman to this largely preventable and treatable disease is too many,” said Candace Campbell Jackson, senior vice president and chief of staff at Syracuse University and chairwoman of Syracuse Go Red for Women.

With a theme of Be the Beat, this year’s luncheon featured tools and information to help Central New York improve training and bystander CPR rates for women, who are still less likely to receive bystander CPR than men. The American Heart Association notes nearly three out of every four cardiac arrests happen in homes and is calling for at least one person in every household to learn Hands-Only CPR. The two simple steps of Hands-Only CPR are to call 911 and to push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives.

Women are less likely to receive bystander CPR partly because people fear accusations of inappropriate touching, sexual assault or injuring the person. By equipping people with Hands-Only CPR training, they learn how simple the technique is and gain confidence that will help them act quickly in an emergency.

Since 2004, the American Heart Association, devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, has engaged more than 2 million women to learn their risk of heart disease and stroke, and take powerful steps to take charge of their health through its Go Red for Women movement. While advocacy and educational campaigns focused on heart disease have made great strides in improving knowledge and attitudes among women, health disparities still exist among and between women.

Go Red for Women is nationally sponsored by CVS Health and the Syracuse Go Red for Women Luncheon is locally sponsored by Syracuse University, JMA Wireless, St. Joseph’s Health, KeyBank, National Grid, 93Q, NBC3/CBS5/CW6 and CNYCentral.com, Eagle Newspapers and Syracuse Woman Magazine. For more information contact Denise McGraw at Denise.McGraw@heart.org or visit http://syracusegored.heart.org.