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Memorial Heart & Vascular Services to Sponsor Free Heart-Health Event for Women


Memorial Heart and Vascular Services will hold its annual women’s heart-health event from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, in the Gus and Flora Kerasotes YMCA, 4450 W. Iles Ave.

“Women can do so much to lower their risk of heart disease, including maintaining a healthy diet, managing their weight, exercising and controlling stress,” said Paula Harwood, a registered nurse and manager of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation at Memorial Medical Center. “We’ll cover that in a fun way to help empower and motivate women to take care of their hearts.”

Celebrate the Heart of a Woman will also feature keynote speakers Dr. Lindsey Saint, a cardiothoracic surgeon with SIU Medicine, and Erin Zepp, a registered dietitian and program coordinator with Memorial Diabetes Services, part of the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center.

Saint will speak on the topic of “Women and Heart Disease.” Zepp will lead a talk titled “Going from ‘I Should’ to ‘I Can’: Putting Heart-Healthy Eating Knowledge into Practice.”

Several breakout sessions will offer fun and easy ways to relax and exercise. Returning sessions are “WERQ (a cardio-dance workout),” “Stability Balls for Strength and Core,” “Boxing for Fitness,” “Paraffin Hand Dip” and “Hand Massage and Aromatherapy.”

Two new breakout sessions this year are “Cycling” and “Mindfulness Yoga.”

Many women mistakenly think heart disease primarily affects men, Harwood said. According to the National Institutes of Health, one out of four women in the United States dies of heart disease and 80 percent of women ages 40 to 60 have one or more risk factors for heart disease.

The free event is open to the public, but reservations are recommended. Comfortable clothing and shoes are encouraged for breakout sessions. Refreshments will be served.

To register, visit or call 217-788-3333.