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Expo to focus on educating women about heart disease
Wellness Expo and Lunch set for Friday
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Go Red for Women Wellness Expo and Luncheon

When: Wellness expo from 10:30 a.m. to noon Friday; luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Where: First Baptist Church, 751 Green St. NW, Gainesville

How much: $75 for a ticket to the luncheon; expo is free and open to the public

More info: northeastgagored.heart.org

The No. 1 killer of women in this country is called “the silent killer.”

Most women don’t notice the symptoms until it’s too late.

But heart disease can be prevented, and the American Heart Association wants women to know what they can do to protect their hearts.

The inaugural Northeast Georgia Go Red For Women Wellness Expo and Luncheon will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church on Green Street in Gainesville. The event is part of the national Go Red For Women movement, which strives to prevent heart disease and stroke.

“One in three women will die from heart disease and stroke,” said Julie Ann Hamilton, regional director with the American Heart Association in Hall County. “The mission of the American Heart Association is to educate women about our risks and to help raise awareness of heart disease and stroke in women.”

The expo runs from 10:30 a.m. to noon and is open to the public. Hamilton said the theme is “Take Care of Your Selfie.”

“So it’s focusing on some of the neat, ‘techie’ ways to improve and take care of your health and fitness,” she said. “We’ll have some demos of Fitbits, Garmins and some of the different apps you can use, as well to keep up with exercise and nutrition.”

There will also be displays of fitness wear from Belk, and Hamilton said there will be booths and displays from “several medical folks” doing free health screenings, giveaways and more.

“When we started talking about the luncheon, we thought it was a nice, natural fit to partner a wellness event with it,” said Mimi Collins, event chair and CEO of The Longstreet Clinic. “Longstreet Clinic will be doing a body mass composite assessment, free for participants. Northeast Georgia Heart Center will be doing some carotid scanning, so there will be a lot of activities from different sponsors.”

Additionally, the American Heart Association will have a booth teaching free hands-only CPR and will have some CPR kits to hand out.

Collins said the Go Red campaign has been doing luncheons for years, and Hamilton has been planning the inaugural event in Gainesville for some time.

“Previous to this, there has been an American Heart Association gala here in the community in February,” Collins said. “And this is replacing that event with hopefully a new, exciting, fun event.”

The expo is free and open to the public. Tickets to the luncheon, starting at noon and featuring a keynote address from first lady Sandra Deal, are $75 each. Proceeds go to the American Heart Association.

Collins said while there is a focus on women, the event is not exclusively for women, and men are welcome to attend.

“This is a perfect opportunity for women and men — because really, the men who love these women should know about this too — to be able to come out and get some good information and get some good feedback,” Hamilton said. “This is a great way for women to come learn how to take care of themselves and what they can do to improve their cardiovascular health and their overall health. It’s also a chance to learn how to pass that information along and, maybe, even save someone’s life.”

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