On Tuesday, February 4, the American Heart Association kicked off Heart Month by hosting their annual Go Red for Women Luncheon presented by Parkview Health.

Attendance was at an all-time high with nearly 400 business executives and community members that decked themselves out in red to come together to learn more about the number one killer of women —heart disease and stroke.

Dr. Martha Gulati, professor of Medicine and the Chief of Cardiology at the University of Arizona in Phoenix, was the keynote speaker at the event and shared insight as to why there needs to be an increased focus on heart health- specifically in women.
“Gender plays a very important role when looking at heart health because the symptoms of women having a heart attack are vastly different than men,” Gulati explains.

Dr. Gulati was given special recognition at the event for her longtime commitment of nearly 20 years of service to the American Heart Association as Chair of the AHA’s Guidelines on Chest Pain, and AHA’s National Committee for Clinical Guidelines for Heart Disease.

Survivors were also recognized with a special survivor toast this year. Two local survivors shared their journey with heart. Emily Fitzgerald suffered a SCAD heart attack at the age of 42 and Megan Horton suffered a stroke at age 18.

Emily addressed the crowd with an important message -“Please listen to your bodies and encourage others to do the same. I am one of the lucky ones, and very grateful for your support.”

“I am also very lucky to be here today because others knew the signs of a stroke,” Megan stated.

Each attendee engaged in a Hands Only CPR training with nearly 400 departing with knowledge of CPR bystander awareness making Fort Wayne a safer place to live. Nearly 90% of residents in the community do not know how to execute CPR and the AHA is committed to changing these statistics throughout Northeast Indiana.

Jolynn Suko, 2020 Event Chair and Senior Vice President, Neurosciences and Virtual Health, Parkview Health encouraged everyone to join the Go Red for Women movement to help build a healthier community.

“This cause is important to me, I’ve spent 8 years of my healthcare career as a neuroscience administrator and have seen the impact diseases like stroke and heart attack have on families.” Jolynn shared. “I’ve also lost family members at a young age due to heart attack and stroke. My hope is that you leave here today empowered and inspired to take action.”

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke — America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. We are the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Learn more about the American Heart Association Go Red for Women movement by visiting or call 260.348.0856

The Waynedale News Staff
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