Hospital going red to raise awareness of heart

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Southampton Memorial Hospital will be lit red in February -- CAIN MADDEN | TIDEWATER NEWS

Southampton Memorial Hospital will be lit red in February — CAIN MADDEN | TIDEWATER NEWS

FRANKLIN—Southampton Memorial Hospital is shining a new light on heart disease, and it’s appropriately red.

The building is being illuminated with red spotlights throughout February – which is American Heart Month – to bring attention to heart disease and prevention, said Kim Marks, assistant chief executive officer for the hospital.

She said the American Heart Association states that heart disease is the number one cause of death for women in the United States. Further, every 60 seconds, a woman dies of heart disease.

To further raise awareness of the issue, the AMA established its Go Red campaign in 2003. Landmarks in other cities have also been highlighted in red, such as the Blue Cross Building in Chicago and the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. Closer to home, the Ferguson headquarters in Newport News and Chesapeake City Hall also “Go Red.”

SMH will host two other events to raise awareness about heart disease in women.

Free health screenings will be offered in the hospital lobby from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Feb. 7, which is National Go Red Day. Visitors are encouraged to wear red.

“We’re encouraging women to get their blood pressure checked and become more aware of heart disease and prevention,” said Marks. She also would like people to meet Dr. Chikako Ono, the new cardiologist at SMH.

Concern for heart health isn’t limited to a month. The hospital also hosts another program, Laughter for the Heart. This is scheduled for 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 13. This “Healthy Woman” program is intended to provide educational guidelines for heart disease prevention in women. Following the educational presentation, female comic of the Year, Etta Mae will entertain the audience. This is a free event and participants will need to register to reserve a seat at

For more information, contact Marks at 569-6166.