Empowering Hearts: Esteemed Community Leaders Join Forces as Co-Chairs for Go Red for Women Initiative, Pledging to Advance Cardiovascular Health for Women
The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, announces Barbara Wadsworth, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Main Line Health, and Stephanie Austin, philanthropist and cardiac arrest survivor, as the community volunteer co-chairs of the 2023-24 Greater Philadelphia area Go Red for Women movement. Go Red for Women is a worldwide initiative of the American Heart Association designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women locally, nationally, and globally.
Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, claiming more lives each year than all forms of cancer combined. Cardiovascular disease continues to be a woman’s greatest health threat, taking the life of one in every three women. In Greater Philadelphia, high blood pressure – the silent killer of stroke – is the number one cause of death in Philadelphia. In Pennsylvania, heart disease is the number one killer.
“I see remarkable stories of adversity and recovery every day,” said Wadsworth. “Seeing firsthand how the work of the American Heart Association affects the lives of everyday Americans is what inspired me to chair the Go Red for Women Movement this year, and I know we can take our message of self-care and prevention to even more women than ever.”
The American Heart Association celebrates its centennial year in 2024, and the Go Red for Women movement will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Go Red for Women is changing the perception women in Philadelphia have about heart disease and stroke. Throughout the year, the AHA shares life-changing stories of triumph and loss to inspire women to make changes to their own personal health.
“I survived cardiac arrest, not just to tell my story, but to empower others to take control of their heart health,” Austin said. “Co-chairing the 2024 Philadelphia Go Red for Women campaign is my way of turning a personal battle into a collective triumph. Together, we can ignite a symphony of awareness, resilience, and unity. Let our hearts beat as one, inspiring change and championing cardiovascular health for every woman, because in the rhythm of our shared journey, we find strength, hope, and the power to rewrite our stories.”
“We are thrilled to have Barbara and Stephanie’s experience, conviction and passion help to drive Go Red for Women in Greater Philadelphia. Together, we know that we will have a positive impact on the lives of women in our community and the families that depend on them,” said Jennifer Litchman-Green, executive director of the American Heart Association Greater Philadelphia region.
Returning for a third year in Greater Philadelphia is the Women of Impact initiative, and this year the Teen of Impact initiative will be implemented. Women and teens are nominated by their peers to participate. The nominees will recruit champions from their networks to form a fundraising team and have a direct impact on women’s health and the Go Red for Women vision of creating a passionate community dedicated to addressing health issues unique to women. The nominee whose team makes the largest impact in each market will be named the local Woman of Impact Award Winner or Teen of Impact Award Winner.
This year’s Go Red for Women movement and its local achievements will be celebrated on May 3, 2024 at the annual Go Red for Women luncheon event at the Bellevue Hotel. The luncheon is sponsored by Philadelphia Goes Red Champion Sponsor Main Line Health and media sponsor Philadelphia Magazine.
For more information about Go Red for Women, visit www.heart.org/phillygored or call (215) 575-5200.