THMG Stories

“The courage it takes to share your story might be the very thing someone else needs to open their heart to hope.” — Unknown

Texas Heart Institute Partners with Houston-area Service Organizations to Support Women’s Heart Health

On February 5th, Texas Heart Institute continued its tradition of partnering with Houston community organizations to promote American Heart Month through two virtual events, the Houston Metropolitan Area Chapters of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (HMAC AKA) “Pink Goes Red Women’s Health Symposium” and The Elnita McClain Women’s Center “Go Red 2022 – A Heart for Health” Virtual Event.  For both events, livestream participants donned their best red outfits—or “exaggerated pink” for HMAC members —to promote cardiovascular health for African American women, their families, and their communities.

Drs. Stephanie Coulter and Briana Costello of THI’s Center for Women’s Heart & Vascular Health held talk-show-style panel discussions to highlight factors that affect a person’s heart health, with a special emphasis on the related health concerns of African Americans.  In addition to discussing the roles of diet, exercise, and routine preventive medical care/regular checkups in maintaining heart health, Dr. Coulter emphasized the importance of making healthy lifestyle changes in a way that fits in with a family’s existing routines. She also stressed the importance of frequent screenings for high blood pressure (HBP), the “silent killer” that disproportionately affects African American men and women.

While describing the heart-health advice that she gives to her own patients, Dr. Costello highlighted the strong influence that women have on their family’s approach to their health.  She also encouraged viewers to start with a single lifestyle change that they could consistently follow, so they could confidently create a healthy habit and build on that momentum to make further changes over time.  The physicians also took questions from the audience, including several about the health benefits of following a Mediterranean diet.

At both events, testimonials from heart disease survivors further underscored the need for increased awareness of the symptoms of cardiovascular disease in women.  Drs. Coulter and Costello provided the participants in these virtual gatherings with additional knowledge and tools to help protect their hearts and the hearts of their families.

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