SEATTLE, November 14, 2023 – The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, announces Imelda Dacones, M.D., F.A.C.P., market president for Optum Pacific Northwest, as the community volunteer chairperson of the 2024 Puget Sound Go Red for Women movement. Dr. Dacones will lead the campaign as Go Red for Women celebrates its 20th anniversary since its launch in 2004 by the American Heart Association. Having lost her mother to stroke, with a strong family history of heart disease that impacts more than half of her eight siblings, cardiovascular disease touches Dr. Dacones personally.  As a primary care physician and hospitalist, she also knows firsthand the importance of prevention, of the possibility of living well with heart disease, all the way to the disability and death that result. 

Twenty years ago, Go Red for Women was founded 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. Cardiovascular disease continues to be a woman’s greatest health threat, taking the life of one in every three women.  “2024 marks the centennial year for the American Heart Association and we celebrate incredible progress in improving the cardiovascular health of women. Still, women continue to face gender-based inequities in care and face specific risks for heart disease and stroke. I am committed to helping women understand those risks, encouraging them to know their numbers and to work with their healthcare teams to take steps in safeguarding their health,” said Dr. Dacones. 

The Go Red for Women movement in the Puget Sound is focused on empowering women at all stages of life to reduce their personal risk factors for cardiovascular disease.  The movement supports the American Heart Association’s broader community impact work to improve health equity by addressing nutrition security and access to health care. Dr. Dacones will provide leadership along with a group of volunteer community leaders who serve on the Women’s Health Council. 

The icon day for Go Red for Women, National Wear Red Day, will be observed on Friday, February 2, 2024, as local landmarks go red and members of the community wear red to raise awareness.  The Go Red for Women movement, its local achievements, and its 20th anniversary will be celebrated at the annual Go Red for Women Experience event on March 7, 2024, in Seattle, presented nationally by CVS Health and supported locally by Optum, Premera Blue Cross and Regence BlueShield. 

Returning for a second year is the Women of Impact initiative, and this year, the Teen of Impact will launch in Puget Sound. Women and teens are nominated by their peers to participate. The nominees will recruit champions from their networks to form a fundraising team that will directly impact women’s health. They will form a critical group of the Go Red for Women movement to fulfill the vision of creating a passionate community dedicated to addressing health issues unique to women. The nominee whose team makes the largest impact in each market will be named the local Woman of Impact Award Winner or Teen of Impact Award Winner. For more information about Go Red for Women, visit www.heart.org/PugetSoundGoRed or call (206) 336-7200.

 

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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 nearly 80 percent 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 20 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.orgFacebookX or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1. Connect with the American Heart Association in Washington on heart.org/PugetSound, Facebook, Instagram or X.    

 

For media inquiries:

Valerie Koch, Valerie.koch@heart.org 

Francesca Minas, Francesca.minas@heart.org