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Vidant Bertie holds Heart Truth dinner

WINDSOR – Heart disease claims the lives of far too many women, especially in eastern North Carolina. That’s why Vidant Bertie Hospital and the other Vidant Health entities, East Carolina Heart Institute, and physician partners work together to offer risk assessments, screenings, education, and advanced treatment options, not to mention eight Heart Truth luncheons and dinners in the local region each year.

A capacity crowd attended the Vidant Bertie Hospital Heart Truth social and sinner on Feb. 16 at the Cashie Heritage Convention Center in Windsor, and learned more about how to “Love Your Heart” in celebration of American Heart Month.

Zonya Foco

Zonya Foco

Zonya Foco, known as America’s Nutrition Leader, and the keynote speaker for the event, invigorated everyone with her message of finding simple things to do to improve your heart health. The audience was energized by her tips for healthy eating, exercise, stress management and lifestyle choices.

Foco, a certified nutritionist and fitness instructor, enlisted several audience members to humorously help demonstrate how the digestive system works. She noted that when we eat a well-balanced diet, the digestive track works properly, which, in turn, is beneficial to heart health. She emphasized that even moderate exercise is essential in combating heart disease.

Foco provided some simple tips to help reduce stress, such as sitting quietly for just a couple of minutes and taking deep, cleansing breaths. That’s it – instant stress relief!

Stephanie Swain, the Vidant Bertie Hospital Laboratory Supervisor, regaled the audience with an account of her personal heart health journey. Swain reminded the attendees not to ignore the even subtle warnings of heart issues, including jaw pain, and to pay close attention if you experience left arm pain, and/or chest pain or discomfort. She also stressed that women, in particular, put off seeking medical attention because “life gets in the way”.

Each event attendee received a Red Dress Kit, which included a very special gift – a bracelet created especially for the 2017 Vidant Heart Truth Tour by North Carolina based Moon and Lola. The “Love Your Heart” charm on the bracelet has floating hearts, which represent all the ways that you can take care for your heart and all the people who love you for it.

The stage at the event was adorned by red hearts, creatively decorated by various departments at Vidant Bertie Hospital, representing what each department does to help patients keep their hearts healthy.

Vidant Bertie Hospital reminds women that heart disease is NOT just a “men’s disease”, and that the Heart Truth is that one in four women who dies in the United States is a victim of heart disease. That is why it is so important that women learn about their risk factors for heart disease, and how their lifestyle choices can affect their health now – and in the future.