LITTLE ROCK, Ark., April 13, 2023 – Dr. Anthony Fletcher, an interventional cardiologist with CHI St. Vincent Cardiology and Medicine Clinic, and his wife, Dr. Paula Fletcher, a retired orthodontist who now serves as health director at Shorter College, are leading the 2023 Central Arkansas Go Red for Women® movement. Months of planning and community outreach by the two will culminate in the Central Arkansas Go Red for Women Luncheon, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. May 10 at the Benton Event Center.
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.
Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, claiming more lives each year than all forms of cancer combined. Heart disease and stroke continue to be Central Arkansas women’s greatest health threat.
“As leaders of the Go for Red Women campaign, we look forward to the opportunity to continue to enlighten the women of central Arkansas on the importance of cardiovascular health not only for themselves, but their loved ones and families,” Dr. Anthony Fletcher said, speaking for himself and Paula.
Paula’s mother had progressive heart disease that was discovered later in life. She had surgery but eventually passed from complications of aortic stenosis, which occurs when the aortic valve narrows, and blood cannot flow normally. Paula’s mother had been caring for Paula’s father, who had suffered a stroke but survived eight to 10 years before passing. Through Go Red for Women, she seeks to provide the education needed to create better health outcomes for others.
“Lives can be changed through education, research, advocacy and community involvement,” Paula said. “Our volunteerism and engagement in our community can help the public understand what causes heart disease and the steps that can be taken to prevent it.”
This year’s luncheon will focus on the rising number of Arkansas women wo have hypertension, or high blood pressure, which can lead to stroke and other chronic illnesses. About 38% of women in the state report having hypertension, compared to the national average of about 31 percent. Mental well-being will also be addressed.
Dr. Anthony Fletcher has served as a member and president of the local American Heart Association board of directors, was the first president of the SouthWest Region board of directors and was a member of the national American Heart Association board of directors.
“Women who suffer from heart disease may not have any symptoms at all,” he said. “Focusing on the improvement in women’s health topics helps close the gap in the understanding the recognition in the treatment of heart disease in women.”
Go Red for Women is nationally sponsored by CVS Health. The Central Arkansas Go Red for Women Luncheon is locally supported by presenting sponsor Saline Health System, match sponsor First Horizon and silver sponsors Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield and Legacy Termite and Pest Control. Media support comes from Arkansas Money & Politics, About You Magazine, B98.5 and Power 92.
For more information, go to CentralARGoRed.heart.org
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, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
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