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San Diego celebrates Go Red For Women’s 10th anniversary

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The American Heart Association San Diego division kicked off the 10th anniversary of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement on Jan. 31, 2013, with a Go Red For Women Building Lighting Ceremony at the University of California, San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center. More than 100 people attended the event to voice their support and encourage women to make it their mission to be heart healthy.

The ceremony not only served as a kick-off for the 2013 campaign, but also as a celebration of what has been accomplished over the past decade.

For 10 years, women have been fighting heart disease individually and together as part of the Go Red For Women movement. They have proudly worn red, shared stories of survival and begun to understand the truth about women’s hearts and how heart disease can be prevented. More than 627,000 women’s lives have been saved since the movement was launched.

In fact, while heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death for women in the United States, fewer women are dying of heart disease -- both in San Diego and across the country.

The San Diego City Council proclaimed February to be American Heart Month on Feb. 5. Left to right:Christine Rice, American Heart Association; Lisa Murphy, council president pro tem; Sherri Lightner, councilmember; Zach Schlagel, UCSD Health Sciences’ manager of government and community affairs; Mary Ostrander, American Heart Association; Kristen Van Wart, American Heart Association.

One of the key messages of the movement’s 10th anniversary is “a time to shout louder and stand stronger.” This was evident across San Diego County on Feb.1 (National Wear Red Day), as more than 40 locations followed UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center’s lead by prominently featuring red via building illumination or in other creative ways, such as moving all red vehicles to the front of an automotive lot.

More than 600 people will come together today for the 2013 Go Red For Women Luncheon. This year’s luncheon, which serves as the centerpiece of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign, is at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. The event is sold out. Organizers expect to raise more than $400,000 for the fight against cardiovascular disease.

The American Heart Association is the second largest funder of heart-and-stroke focused research in the world. Only the United States government funds more research in these areas.

San Diego-based institutions received almost $5.3 million in research funding from the American Heart Association last year. This money allowed research projects to be funded at numerous locations, including: University of California, San Diego; Scripps Research Institute; Burnham Research Institute; San Diego State University Research Foundation; San Diego Veteran’s Medical Research Foundation; Salk Institute for Biological Studies; and La Jolla Institute.

The Univeristy of California, San Diego's Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center was one of several local institutions that were illuminated in red to celebrate the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women campaign.

Research funded by the American Heart Association has yielded or contributed too many important innovations, such as CPR, pacemakers, bypass surgery, the heart-lung machine, surgical techniques to repair heart defects, and life-extending drugs like clot-busters. These and other advances are making it possible for many people to call themselves survivors.

The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign is sponsored nationally by Macy's (NYSE: M) and Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK). The Go Red For Women campaign is locally sponsored by UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center. Luncheon sponsors include UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center; Datron; Lotus Leadership Institute; SDG&E; Anthem Blue Cross; Sharp Mary Birch Hospital; and Barona Band of Mission Indians.

San Diego’s Go Red For Women campaign is also generously supported by some of San Diego’s leading media outlets, including KFMB-CBS 8, The Daily Transcript, San Diego Home and Garden, Radio Latina, Entravision, KyXy 96.5 FM, Energy 103.7 FM, and La Jolla Bluebook. This broad support allows the campaign to reach most every household in San Diego County, raising awareness and encouraging conversations at home and work about women’s heart health.

For more information, visit sdgoredluncheon.org or call 858-410-3850.

The American Heart Association is excited to recognize San Diego legends Betty Beyster, Marye Anne Fox, Joan Jacobs, Jeanne Jones, and Darlene Shiley at the 2013 San Diego Go Red For Women Luncheon. These amazing women are being recognized for their leadership in building and supporting a stronger, healthier San Diego.

A special highlight of the 2013 Go Red For Women Luncheon is the Go Red Fashion Show by Zandra Rhodes. The fashion show features a number of local cardiovascular disease survivors.

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