Q: Can you tell us about the work of Red H.E.A.R.R.T?
A: For one, we want to get people up and moving. A Zumba event to get exercising started with 400 people 11 years ago. The event gained momentum and set two Guinness Book of World Records. The RH luncheon sold out twice at the inaugural event in 2015. In 2020, both luncheons were attended by nearly 800 men and women.
RH also hosts a Survivor Red Carpet Walk for heart attack and stroke survivors each year, and has a presence in the school system.
Q: What do you want people to learn about heart health?
A: It’s personal to me because I lost my mother to heart disease at a young age. Heart disease is the no. 1 killer of women and men; yet, 80 percent preventable. My job is to help save lives through educating all to see their doctors, more specifically cardiologists, if they have a history of heart or stroke disease in their family.
It’s all about teaching everyone how to love their hearts by changing everyday lifestyle practices and being intentional around heart healthy actions. Heart health education is extended to people of all ages, sex and race; but because of the disproportionate impact on minorities, I intentionally educate people of color on the importance of seeing their doctors regularly.
Q: What did it mean to you to be recognized for this award?
A: It’s an honor to receive this recognition from an amazing organization that empowers and invests in the lives of women, and honors and celebrates those leaving a legacy. I didn’t do this work to get an award; instead, to help save lives. It makes your work even more special when someone thinks enough of what you’re doing to stop you on your journey and celebrate you.
My goal is to make a positive impact on others, touch lives, and leave a legacy for the next generation.