American Heart Association Hosts Free Health & Wellness Symposium for African-American Women

Health event focuses on health screenings, education sessions and physical activity to combat heart disease

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 5/5/2015, 4:49 p.m.
In an effort to elevate public awareness of the No. 1 and No. 5 killer of African-American women disease and ...

(HOUSTON) May 5, 2015 – In an effort to elevate public awareness of the No. 1 and No. 5 killer of African-American women disease and stroke research, the American Heart Association (AHA) will host the FREE Go Red Girlfriend Health Weekend Symposium May 16-17.

On Saturday, May 16, The Go Red Girlfriend Health Symposium will empower, educate and equip African-American women to live heart healthy lives. The conference will include free health screenings, education sessions, interactive cooking demonstration, physical activity sessions, and a networking heart healthy lunch. In addition, attendees will hear from medical experts, heart disease and stroke survivors, and learn about AHA/Texas advocacy initiatives to improve the health of the Houston community.

On Sunday, May 17, The Go Red Girlfriend, Day of Worship Event will include praise and worship at Holman Street Baptist Church. Attendees will hear an inspiring message from church leadership on living a heart healthy life. AHA volunteers and staff will be on site to share stroke information and a brief reception will immediately follow for Heart and Stroke Survivors in attendance.

This event, features the leadership of several well- known leaders in the African- American community. The Go Red Girlfriend Weekend event chair is Karen Carter Richards, Publisher of Houston Forward Times. Under Carter Richards’s direction, the Go Red Girlfriend campaign grew from a one day event to a weekend long health symposium designed to engage, educate and equip the African-American community. Sheryl Howard, Community leader, Philanthropist, and mother of 8 time NBA All-Star and Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard will serve as honorary chair for Go Red Girlfriend Weekend. Dr. Baxter Montgomery, a Cardiologist with Montgomery Heart & Wellness is the event education speaker and Dr. Wonda Mott, Gynecologist, and Women’s Health Advocate will serve as the empowerment speaker. In addition, guests will hear from Shondra Rogers McGrary, a stroke survivor who will share her story of faith and determination to reclaim her life after suffering a Hemorrhagic Stroke.

The American Heart Association is anticipating the weekend long event will draw community minded Houstonians with a vested interest in the health of African- Americans. Statistics show that African-Americans have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease than Caucasians and are less aware of their cardiovascular risk factors. Research studies reveal that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for African-American males and females age 20 and older. To bring awareness to this startling statistic, the American Heart Association created Go Red Girlfriend, a free health and wellness conference to reach the community with vital, life-saving information.

The Go Red Girlfriend Health Symposium and Day of Worship events are free but registration is required. Registration is available online at or by phone at (713) 610-5024.

Heart disease is a killer that strikes more women than men, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood. In the past ten years, the

American Heart Association and the Go Red For Women movement has helped educate millions of women on heart diseases, risks and prevention.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Our mission is to build healthier lives by preventing, treating and defeating these diseases – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. We fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health.

About Go Red For Women

Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association's national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women because it’s not just a man’s disease. In fact, women are more likely than men to have heart disease or a stroke. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Go Red For Women advocates for more research and swifter action for women's heart health. The American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement is nationally sponsored by Macy's, with additional support from our cause supporters. For more information, please visit or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278).