OKLAHOMA CITY, Sept. 20, 2023 – Amy Bailey, president of CrossFirst Bank OKC, and Shelly Douglas, senior director of corporate engagement, at CHC: Creating Healthier Communities, will serve as the community volunteer co-chairpersons of the 2023-2024 OKC area Go Red for Women® movement, which culminates in the OKC Go Red for Women Luncheon Nov. 2. The event will be held at the Meinders Hall of Mirrors at the Civic Center Music Hall from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Go Red for Women is an initiative of the American Heart Association, devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women locally, nationally and globally.
Maternal health is the focus of the local 2023-24 Go Red for Women Movement. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of new moms. Pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. have risen nearly 140% over the last three decades – cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Oklahoma persistently ranks among the states with the worst rates of maternal deaths in the U.S. Oklahoma's maternal mortality rate was 47.5 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. This is above the national average of 33 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
Bailey lost her father to a heart attack about four and a half years ago when her father was 60.
“In that moment, my heart shattered into a million pieces,” said Bailey, one of three daughters left without their father that night. “I couldn't bear the thought of my children growing up without their grandfather, or the immense pain my mother would endure.” Her father’s father had also passed of a heart attack at age 59.
“It became painfully clear that had my dad been aware of the importance of seeking treatment, this heartbreak could have been prevented. But fear silenced him, preventing him from speaking up and taking action,” Bailey added.
“This is why heart health matters.”
Bailey herself was diagnosed with a heart condition while she was pregnant at age 25. She was a member of the OKC Go Red for Women executive leadership team in 2022 and her commitment continues. Her goal is to “make meaningful impact and positively transform lives through my involvement with Go Red for Women.”
Douglas’ father suffers from heart disease, and her daughter, Madison Duley, is in her third year as development director for the OKC Go Red for Women Movement. The American Heart Association is one of CHC’s largest national collaborators.
“In my day-to-day work for a nonprofit, I work to raise funds to improve health outcomes in underserved communities,” Douglas said. “It made perfect sense for me to put my personal experience and passion behind this year’s Go Red for Women.”
“These women bring great professional expertise – and heart – to the cause,” said Mark Fried, executive director of the American Heart Association-OKC. “Their experience and leadership will make a notable impact on the lives of women in our community and the families that depend on them.”
Go Red for Women is nationally sponsored by CVS Health. More information can be found at OKCGoRed.heart.org
About Go Red for Women®
The American Heart Association’s signature initiative, Go Red for Women®, is a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women globally. While the majority of cardiac events can be prevented, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, claiming the lives of 1 in 3 women. For 19 years, Go Red for Women has encouraged awareness. The movement harnesses the energy, passion and power of women to band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges them to know their risk for heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk. It also gives them tools they need to lead a heart healthy life. The Go Red for Women movement is nationally sponsored by CVS Health, with additional support from national cause supporters. For more information, please visit GoRedforWomen.org or call 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721).
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
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For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)