A “munchkin run,” jump rope activities and a cardio dance class inspired everyone to Move More, as a part of the AHA’s Healthy for Good campaign during the A Tu Salud (To Your Health) health and wellness expo. The event welcomed 350 attendees in the Boyle Heights neighborhood’s Hazard Park. Volunteers from the Keck School of Medicine and the University of Southern California’s Civic Engagement program offered participants blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose health screenings, as well as dental and eye exams. Cooking demos, Hands-Only CPR training and presentations about heart-healthy lifestyle choices were available to participants throughout the day.
Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than white non-Hispanic women. Yet, only 3 in 10 say that they have been informed that they are at a higher risk. With the support of Union Bank, A Tu Salud was one of three new events in Los Angeles that the American Heart Association (AHA) held to empower Latinas to reverse those statistics and generate a dialogue about heart health. Two events took place as a part of Go Red Por Tu Corazón, the Latina-focused campaign designed to end heart disease and stroke in the Hispanic community.
May 10 is the traditional Mother’s Day in Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala. That is why more than 200 women came to honor their mothers and the role they play in the wellness and vitality of their families during the AHA’s Dia de las Madres celebration. Telemundo 52 anchors Elva Saray and Stephanie Himonidis (pictured right) served as masters of ceremonies.
Survivor and AHA volunteer Lily Rocha (left) spoke to the guests about surviving a heart attack at age 37 and the effect that it has had on her life since.
“Right after I had my heart attack, I learned my grandfather suffered a heart attack at the same age and died five days later. I thought I only had five days to live,” Lily told the audience.
A week later, Telemundo 52 anchor Gabriela Rosales (left) hosted the Almuerzo y Conferencia Por Tu Corazón (Luncheon and Conference for Your Heart). Diane Pérez, M.D. (right), TV medical correspondent for the Televisa network and author of books on preventive health, was the keynote speaker. This Spanish language event drew 300 women, offered free health screenings and materials, inspiring testimonies and a heart healthy lunch.
“Union Bank is proud to support the American Heart Association in its efforts to reach Latina women with these important heart health messages,” said Leticia Aguilar, Union Bank executive vice president and AHA’s Los Angeles County Division board member. “The statistics are quite devastating and have a real impact on families and communities. These events were a great way to draw attention to this situation and help women implement positive lifestyle changes.”
Photos of Elva Saray, Stephanie Himonidis and Lily Rocha are courtesy of Jamie Pham Photography.