LMC goes red for heart disease awareness

Aubrey Zych, Co- News & Features Editor


The month of February is all about cupids, valentines and boxed chocolates; but among the love notes and bouquets of roses, the Le Moyne Health and Wellness Center is pushing for more than just conversation hearts through promoting the American Heart Association’s annual “Go Red For Women” movement.

On Monday, Feb. 25, students, professors and faculty are invited to dress in red and gather outside the Pub to assemble for a group photo. The photo will be taken by a professional photographer and be submitted to American Heart Association to compete with other colleges and universities across the country.

From there, students should go to the American Heart Association Facebook page and like the picture. The photograph with the most likes will be posted on the American Heart Association website, Facebook and Twitter account to be featured throughout American Heart Association brand outlets.

This February marks the 10th anniversary of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red For Women” movement. Since its inception in 2004, the movement has saved more than 627,000 lives. But those at the Health and Wellness Center say the fight is far from over. Despite the campaign’s progress, heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of women, taking more lives than all cancers combined.

The idea was developed by members of the Le Moyne Health and Wellness Center, specifically their student intern from Onondaga Community College, Liz Joroleman.

“I have only been working here on the Le Moyne campus since August, but truly feel a real sense of compassion and community, from both the staff and students here,” Joroleman said. “I know that they all have an ultimate goal of bettering the world around them, in one way or another. This seemed like a simple idea that a lot of students, like me, could become excited about.”

Joroleman is also the lead organizer for the Healthy Monday table that happens each Monday outside the dining hall.

Kathleen Byrum, a nurse at the Wellness Center health office, says the event is a great way to not only raise awareness about the disease, but also encourage a sense of community among students.

“The Go Red event is important for students because it raises awareness about cardiovascular disease and how behavior and personal choices can affect long term health,” she said. “This event encourages social connection around healthy behaviors and lifestyle choices.”

Byrum also added that even though heart disease usually does not affect women until later in life, college students are still at risk.

“Atherosclerosis, the process that is underlying to cardiovascular disease, often begins in adolescence,” she said. “Even though there is a genetic component, it can also be highly related to health choices. The major risk factors are high blood pressure, being overweight, diabetes, tobacco use and increased lipids.”

Director of the Wellness Center, Anne Kearney, says that students who are unable to attend the photo can still get involved with the campaign. Students are encouraged to wear red on Feb. 25, visit the Healthy Mondays tables outside the cafeteria and learn more about the disease on the Health and Wellness Center’s website, Facebook page and Twitter account, which are regularly updated with info and resources for students.

“The Wellness Center is getting up to speed with all things social media, and we are focusing on various aspects of holistic wellness all of the time!” Kearney said.

Byrum concluded that raising awareness is a group effort for the entire Le Moyne community to join in on.

“Students and staff can make a personal commitment to make conscious choices about health habits,” she said. “Encourage a friend to join in.  Turn off electronics and take a moment each day to enjoy some activity, appreciate a friendship, and live in the moment.”

Visit the event’s Facebook page or http://wearredday.goredforwomen.org for more information about the Le Moyne Goes RED event and the Go Red for Women campaign.