ARDMORE, Okla. - For Trish Long, director of operations at Mercy Hospital Ardmore, bringing awareness about heart disease is personal.
“We had no idea my husband had heart disease until he had a massive heart attack,” she said. “He died in the intensive care unit 13 days later.”
That was more than two years ago. Since then, Long and a team from Mercy Hospital Ardmore, the Oklahoma Heart Hospital and the Chickasaw Nation created Ardmore’s first-ever “Wear Red for Women” event. The luncheon promotes awareness of heart disease and raises money for the Good Shepherd Community Clinic to provide free health, dental and optical care for the uninsured.
“We are really passionate about the Good Shepherd Community Clinic, and we want to help provide equipment for heart health and prevention methods,” Long said. “We also want women in our community to be aware of the threat heart disease poses to their families and others.”
Studies show more than 44 million women are affected by heart disease in the United States, yet a number of women still don’t consider heart disease a major risk. Brenda Head, a registered nurse from Oklahoma Heart Hospital’s Outpatient Cardiac Rehab Center, encourages women to become more involved when it comes to their health.
“Everyone has it in their power to improve their heart health,” she said. “We can change whether we smoke. We can change how much we exercise. We can all monitor our cholesterol numbers and our stress levels. If you don’t understand something that your doctor is telling you, just ask.”
Nearly 200 women attended, helping to raise almost $20,000 through ticket sales and a silent auction.
“We are thrilled with the success of our first Wear Red for Women event, and we can’t wait to do it again next year,” said Long.
For more information about the Good Shepherd Community Clinic, located at Twenty 12th Avenue NW in Ardmore, call 580-226-6213.