What better time to raise heart health awareness than the month that has an entire day devoted to love. Hearts will be everywhere this month making it easy to find decorations and inexpensive ways to bring heart health to your client’s attention.
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer of women in America. It kills more women than all forms of cancer combined partially because it is underdiagnosed. Cardiovascular disease is the overall leading cause of death in America according to the CDC. The easiest way to reduce this number is to raise awareness among the general population. Million Hearts is a government initiative with the goal of preventing 1 million strokes and heart attacks in the United States over the next 5 years. The website has a variety of tools for individuals and health care providers and also allows individuals to pledge to change their lifestyles in order to improve their overall heart health.
This health observance is probably the easiest to decorate for and the most fun. Who doesn’t love the pink and red of Valentine’s Day? Retailers have everything in these colors and with hearts all over them. Use heart shaped streamers, balloons, signs, and window clings to decorate your office or waiting room. Buy decorations that don’t mention Valentine’s Day specifically and use the empty area inside of the hearts to write catch phrases such as:
- February is Heart Month
- Heart Disease Warning Signs
- Tips for Heart Disease Prevention
- Healthy Heart Habits
National Wear Red Day was February 3rd, but the AHA fully supports companies and groups using the materials to celebrate on a day of their choosing. They offer a variety of materials including posters, a planning guide, flyers, and education materials. This is a great resource to begin planning the best way to educate your patients or clients.
Promoting heart health shouldn’t just be for your clients or patients. You also need to encourage your staff to take their heart health seriously. Often it is the caregivers who have the most trouble taking care of themselves. Promote a Wear Red Day and offer small prizes for the most unique outfit. If you manage a large facility encourage the various departments to decorate their area, sponsor fundraising walks, and provide resources for free employee screenings.
How do you as a health care provider plan to celebrate and promote American Heart Month?