Wear Red Day - 2MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center employees celebrated a postponed National Wear Red Day on Friday, Feb. 26 by forming a giant (socially distanced and red masked) “human heart” to raise awareness of the No. 1 killer of American women —heart disease — and to support the millions of women affected by this condition. Since COVID-19, there has been a decline in heart health screenings. Employees came together to encourage the community to get heart-health screenings and know their risk for heart disease.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women each year, yet more women still believe that their number one threat is breast cancer. By supporting National Wear Red Day, the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center hopes to raise awareness of this disease, which is 80 percent preventable with proper education and lifestyle changes.

“The price of cardiovascular disease is high and too many women will pay that price with their life,” says David Shavelle, M.D., medical director, Adult Cardiology & Interventional Lab, MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Medical Center. “Even worse, is that many people remain unaware of the scale of this silent killer and the fact that it affects some of our youngest most diverse populations. Losing even one woman is too many. I’m proud that we have gathered here to ‘Go Red’ and raise awareness of the impact of heart disease and ultimately save the lives of women.”

While both men and women show traditional symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pains or heart palpitations, women often show additional symptoms, such as fatigue, soreness in the arms or shoulders and back pain. These symptoms can be easily dismissed by people who don’t know the warning signs of heart disease. By familiarizing women with the various types of heart disease and their symptoms, Long Beach Medical Center is supporting the American Heart Association’s mission to prevent up to one-fourth of annual deaths caused by heart disease.

Long Beach Medical Center offers a comprehensive cardiovascular evaluation for women and men that focuses on early detection and prevention strategies to improve an individual’s life-long health and well-being. To learn more about heart disease, visit memorialcare.org/HeartQuiz.