An event straight from the heart, the second annual Womens Heart to Heart program, a free lecture and dinner, was held by Maimonides Medical Center at The Montauk Club, 25 Eighth Avenue, earlier this spring. The program is designed to raise awareness about heart disease among women as well as the facts of heart health.It was a great success, said Louise Valerio, vice president of cardiac services at Maimonides. The main objective of the event was to educate women on the risks of heart disease, to encourage them to change lifestyles in developing cardio care and to give them access to services they might not have available to them.Attendees were engaged by the speakers. The questions that the audience asked were definitely a sign that it left an impression, she said. If one person learned and changed her lifestyle to prevent disease, thats enough.Acknowledged experts in the field, MD and founder of the Womens Heart Clinic at the Mayo Clinic Sharonne Hayes as well as Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Maimonides Medical Center Gregory Crooke, gave a presentation entitled Women and Heart Disease: What Every Woman Should Know.Along with the audience, Valerio was impressed with both speakers. I honestly got rave reviews. Dr. Hayes is an expert. Her enthusiasm and level of engagement is second to none, she said. Dr. Crooke shared many techniques and programs that are available. He did a great job connecting with the audience.A woman that suffers from heart disease — Ruth Diener Platt, Maimonides Womans Heart Champion — also spoke during the event. Making the closing remarks was Valerio.The program also included BMI, blood pressure, and carotid screening. Dinner was served, as and a raffle was drawn.We give them health education materials as well as a membership card to the Womens Heart to Heart Club so they can call and receive personal attention, said Valerio, who expects the program to expand. We plan to have three a year.Heart disease is the number one killer of American women, taking more lives than the next seven causes of death combined.
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