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Huron Band goes red for heart disease

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ATHENS TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Members of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi will be showing off red as part of a national awareness effort to support and educate women about heart disease. The tribe will be hosting a Red Dress event to increase awareness of cardiovascular disease among tribal women and to help ensure that all preventative measures possible to prevent this disease are being taken. The event will be held the evening of Feb. 12 at the Tribal Community Center.

“Having been a nurse for many years, I think it is important to increase the awareness that heart disease is the number one killer of American women,” said Laura Spurr, NHBP tribal chair. “This is just one of many community health prevention and promotional educational programs the Tribal Health Department puts on throughout the year. Good health habits are something we strive to improve amongst all our tribal members.”

The Heart Truth national awareness campaign created and introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002 to help deliver an urgent wake-up call to American women. The Red Dress calls women to action and empowers them to protect their heart health and reduce their risk of heart disease.

The tribe has been involved with the Red Dress event for the last five years. This is the second year the tribe will host its own Red Dress event. This year’s event will include dinner, keynote speaker cardiologist, Dr. Ted Varas, drum groups, giveaways and cardiovascular screenings. There is also a contest for the most creative red outfit.

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“By hosting the Red Dress event, the tribe hopes to provide education and awareness to tribal members about women’s health issues, primarily cardiovascular disease,” said Jonathan Gardner, NHBP health director. “It is a little known fact that women suffer from a higher incidence and more severe complications associated with cardiovascular disease. This event is a fun, entertaining way to remind our members to protect their heart health and inspire them to take action.”