Hampton Roads unites to help eliminate heart disease and stroke in women

American Heart Association’s signature Go Red for Women Luncheon raises awareness and critical funds, while calling for action against health disparities

This year, more than 400 people dressed in red will attend the annual Hampton Roads Go Red for Women Luncheon to honor survivors, celebrate advancements in heart health and chart a new course toward a world free of cardiovascular disease, which claims the lives of 1 in 3 women.

On Friday, February 2, 2024, (National Wear Red Day) the Hampton Roads Go Red for Women Luncheon guests will rally at the heart-healthy event with a goal of raising $350,000 to save and improve women’s lives by advancing equitable research and care, advocating for inclusive health policies and raising awareness of women’s number one health threat, cardiovascular disease (CVD).

One hundred years after its founding, the American Heart Association, devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives for all, looks to its premier women’s movement, Go Red for Women®, to help usher in a second century of pioneering progress towards health equity for women.

“I chose to support this campaign to celebrate the progress we’ve made over the years, but more importantly, to inspire the Hampton Roads community to demand more for women and create awareness around the impact of cardiovascular disease on pregnant and postpartum outcomes. 20 years of Go Red is something to celebrate, but our work isn’t finished and I look forward to championing our efforts in advocating for more equitable health care and closing the gaps in education, resources, and support,” said Dr. Amber Price, Hampton Roads Go Red for Women co-chair and President, Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center.

“We can’t do it alone,” said Alexis Swann, Hampton Roads Go Red for Women co-chair and President, TowneBank Peninsula and Williamsburg. “It’s time to make bold moves and support innovative solutions for women’s cardiovascular health. Go Red for your mother, your daughter, your friends, and yourself. Because when we come together, we can motivate, educate, support and help save each other.”

In addition to the campaign co-chairs, a select group of executives and community leaders are amongst the 2024 American Heart Association Hampton Roads Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Team. These individuals made a commitment to champion the cause, ensure a successful campaign and represent women’s health in Hampton Roads:

  • Amber Price, Sentara Health
  • Alexis Swann, TowneBank
  • Terry Banez, Greater Williamsburg Chamber of Commerce
  • Megan Buchholz, Unified Women’s Healthcare
  • Tiasha Campbell, Sentara Health
  • Kia Dunbar-Harris, Sentara Health
  • Geraldine Eady, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Minister Traci Georges, The Mount Peninsula
  • Tijuana Gholson, Tag Consulting
  • Iris Lundy, Sentara Health
  • Petra Lynch, Sentara Health
  • Ethlyn McQueen-Gibson, Norfolk State University
  • Kristen Morrisett, Sentara Health
  • Jeffrey Morrison, TPMG
  • Frankye Myers, MSN, RN, NE-BC, Riverside Health System
  • Janelle St. Louis, U.S. Navy
  • Bert Wheat, Goodman and Sons Jewelers

Since 2004, the Go Red for Women movement has addressed the awareness and clinical care gaps of CVD for women. As the movement celebrates 20 years of making an impact, the Association calls on all women to take charge of their health and make a lasting impact on the health and well-being of their community.

“Whether it’s learning CPR, joining Research Goes Red, knowing your own risk factors, having an honest conversation with your doctor, or empowering another woman to prioritize her own health and well-being, there are so many ways to create a legacy of health in our families and our community,” said MeShall Simmons, Executive Director of the American Heart Association Hampton Roads.

“Go Red for Women is here for women’s health and well-being at every age, stage and season of their lives,” she continued. “And by coming together and supporting the women in our community, we can make a lasting impact.”

As women grow and change so does their risk for cardiovascular disease. CVD is the leading cause of death in women, claiming more lives than all cancers combined. Nearly 45% of women over age 20 are living with some form of CVD. In fact, it’s the leading cause of maternal death in the U.S., or more simply put, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of new moms and pregnancy-related deaths are on the rise.[1] Yet, younger generations of women, Gen Z and Millennials, are less likely to be aware of their greatest health threat, including knowing the warning signs of heart attacks and strokes.[2] That’s why it’s important for all women to take charge of their heart health and encourage others to do the same.

Go Red for Women is nationally sponsored by CVS Health and the Hampton Roads Go Red for Women Luncheon is locally sponsored by Sentara Health, TowneBank, Bon Secours, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, Riverside, Goodman & Sons, Shady Grove Fertility, C.A. Barrs Contractor, Inc., W.M. Jordan and WAVY-TV 10. For more information contact Laura Bynum at 757-812-4654 or laura.bynum@heart.org and visit www.heart.org/hamptonroadsgored.


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for a century. During 2024 – our Centennial year – we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact, our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

About Go Red for Women®

The American Heart Association’s signature initiative, Go Red for Women®, is a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women globally. While the majority of cardiac events can be prevented, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, claiming the lives of 1 in 3 women. For more than two decades, Go Red for Women has encouraged awareness. The movement harnesses the energy, passion and power of women to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. It also gives them tools they need to lead a heart healthy life. The Go Red for Women movement is nationally sponsored by CVS Health, with additional support from national cause supporters. For more information, please visit GoRedforWomen.org or call 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721).


For Media Inquiries:

Jaylyn Brown




[1] Centers for Disease Control Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System Table: Causes of Pregnancy-Related Deaths

[2] https://newsroom.heart.org/news/heart-disease-awareness-decline-spotlights-urgency-to-reach-younger-women-and-women-of-color