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Public Enemy Number One

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One in four women in the United States will die of heart disease, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) In fact, coronary heart disease (CHD) – the most common type of heart disease – is the number one killer of both women and men in the United States, making heart disease public enemy number one.

Ukiah Valley Medical Center is taking steps to inform the community about heart disease and how to take the necessary steps to prevent it. According to Lynn Chevalier, director of volunteers and event planning at UVMC, “We’re planning a free community seminar, UVMC and Me, on February 8 featuring Jon Portnoff, M.D., cardiologist. Dr. Portnoff will share the warning signs of heart disease and steps you can take to have a healthy heart.”

February is also National Heart Health month. In addition to the free seminar Chevalier said, “Employees are also planning on getting the word out about having a healthy heart by participating in National Wear Red Day, held on February 3, to raise awareness for women to be heart healthy. When a patient or someone sees UVMC employees wearing red and asks what we’re doing, we can share how we want women in our community to be smart about their heart.”

When asked how important it is for Mendocino, Lake and Northern Sonoma county residents to be smart about their heart, Dr. Portnoff said, “It’s paramount. Heart disease can be devastating to families, and loved ones.” Portnoff went on to say, “many people think that it’s only older people that have heart disease, when in fact it starts when you’re young. It can be prevented by taking proper care of your body.”

UVMC has also created a web page www.uvmc.org/healthyheart to help men and women learn more about heart disease and know the warning signs and what to ask your doctor. The free UVMC and Me, Heart Healthy event will be held on February 8 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in UVMC’s OB Conference Room, on 275 Hospital Drive. To attend, please call (707)-463-7493.