Norfolk, VA - November 6, 2003- Sentara was honored by a visit from First Lady Laura Bush today to help raise awareness about women and heart disease. Mrs. Bush's visit to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital focused on The Heart Truth Campaign, a national initiative designed to inform women of their risks for heart disease.
Mrs. Bush spoke to a diverse audience of more than 250 attendees representing much of the Hampton Roads community including representatives from the military, physician groups, health care providers, public service, homemakers, teachers, mothers, and heart disease survivors, among others.
"We believe it's essential for women to know their risk for heart disease. Sentara launched a program more than three years ago focused on educating the women in our region about heart disease. This event will help shed more light on this deadly disease and on the importance of maintaining a healthy heart," said Howard P. Kern, president and chief operating officer.
Central to the Heart Truth Campaign is The Red Dress Project, which uses a striking symbol-the red dress-to underscore the impact of heart disease in women. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States. The Red Dress Project is designed to build awareness nationally that women are at risk for heart disease; give a sense of hope that women can reduce their risk and empower them to do so; and provide a clear call to action coupled with a sense of urgency.
The Heart Truth Campaign strongly correlates with Sentara's focus on the prevention and treatment of heart disease.
"We are honored Mrs. Bush chose to visit Sentara and appreciate her drawing attention to this important issue," said Dr. Rodney F. Hochman, chief medical officer and administrator of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.