Calling women the health managers of the family, Dr. Dexanne Clohan encouraged those watchdogs to take care of themselves as well - and to laugh.
Speaking across a sea of red at the annual Go Red for Women luncheon Sept. 20, Clohan, the chief medical officer of HealthSouth Corp., advised women to refocus their moods: "laugh, read books that are funny, go to funny movies, learn to laugh at yourself."
To take care of themselves and their heart health, she advised dropping some stress and grabbing a little Japanese "wabi sabi," one of her favorite phrases. "Refocus your attitude," she said. "Live simply, look for the beauty despite imperfections. You won't just wear the red uniform; you'll incorporate it into your life."
A luncheon crowd of more than 350 at the annual American Heart Association event almost universally shook their heads in affirmation as Clohan turned cheerleader.
Another member of the pep squad was Jackie Miller of Macy's, which has been a national Go Red for Women sponsor since 2004, raising over $46 million to fight heart disease. Miller announced there were gift cards to Macy's in the little gift bags at each place setting throughout the ballroom of the Antlers Hilton hotel.
All together, the day's event, which included screenings, vendors, education presentations and a survivor gallery, raised more than $120,000. The chair was Renita Wolf and her committee included Kristen Christy, Dr. Kim Dulaney, Suzette DeToit, Paulette Greenberg, Gwen Happ, Lynne Jones, Sue Minero, Amy Nolan and Carolyn Sundahl.
A video featuring local heart-disease survivors admonished, "Women, if you have that gut feeling that something is wrong, go get checked." It noted that heart disease remains the top killer of women, causing the deaths of one of every three women.