Author Sue Van Brocklin
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“It was with you the first time you blew out your candles. It was definitely there for your first slow dance. It’s been given away and it’s been stolen too many times to count. It’s even been broken a time or two….”

As you can tell, we’re talking about your heart. Timed for February, National Heart Month, and the heart-filled celebration of Valentine’s Day, these Adventist Health radio spots are bringing attention to a public health issue that half the population may not realize poses a danger to them: cardiovascular disease.

Unfortunately, this is one area where women have caught up with men. Heart disease is now the #1 killer for men and women in the U.S. In fact, women are more likely to die of a heart attack than men— in part because women may have different symptoms than men, and those symptoms are less well known.

AMC-Cardiac-Life&Health-8.125x8.375-NewTargeting women ages 45+, our new cardiac campaign for Adventist Health prompts women to consider their own heart health with the tagline, “Because your heart doesn’t just belong to you.” We developed digital, print, radio and outdoor ads that encourage women (and men) to find their “heart age” by taking a simple
online Heart Health Assessment quiz. There, people learn how small changes can make a difference. Little steps, literally, to get their hearts pumping.

Our PR team joined in the campaign, sending local health reporters a small basket of fruit (with a few chocolates thrown in) and a fact sheet in the form of a valentine.Within two days, nearly half had expressed interest in taking the Heart Health Assessment and covering the story.

AMNW-Katherine Strelich-AH-Screen ShotWe also arranged for Dr. Katherine Strelich, a cardiologist at Adventist
Health, to appear on KATU’s AM Northwest, where she talked heart health with TV hosts who had taken their own heart assessments.

During our media prep with Dr. Strelich, she was paged to come to Adventist Medical Center immediately. Someone was having a heart attack and needed attention in the ER. The patient was a woman. We found out the next day she was recovering after surgery, but we were all humbled by the timing.

Being a woman in the target age range, I decided to take the Heart Health Assessment from Adventist Health myself. In just a few minutes it turned my responses into a customized report with color-coded action items to improve my heart health.

The results gave me encouragement for what I’m doing well, a list of my own risk factors for heart disease and tips about things to work on. The best part about finding out my heart age? I’m told my heart can party like it’s only 2002.

I invite everyone over 45 to get a heart health snapshot by taking the Heart Health Assessment at NWRegionalHeart.com. Of all the online quizzes you’ve taken lately—“What zoo animal are you?” “Which Game of Thrones character are you?”—I promise this will be the most worthwhile.