HSC to host Women’s Cardiovascular and Brain Health Symposium

Womens Heart Health
Photo courtesy of creative commons via Allina Health

Sixty million U.S. women live with some form of heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart disease is responsible for 1 in 5 female deaths, but only about half of women recognize it as their No. 1 killer.  

To bring awareness to the importance of women’s heart and brain health, The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth is hosting the Women’s Cardiovascular and Brain Health Symposium on Feb. 1 and 2. The event will bring together scientists and community members to discuss the latest research on women’s health topics and share personal stories about the impacts of cardiovascular disease.  

Keynote speakers include Dr. Florence Haseltine, a professor at The University of Texas at Arlington, and medical director at the North Texas Genome Center. She also is the former director of the Center for Population Research of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health. Also speaking will be Dr. Yolanda Lawson, OB-GYN and 124th president of the National Medical Association. 

“The Women’s Cardiovascular and Brain Health Symposium will raise awareness of important issues effecting women’s health, engage in important conversations about the mental health of women throughout their life spans, and bring attention to cutting-edge research on women’s health in the DFW area,” said Dr. Mark Cunningham, an assistant professor of physiology in HSC’s School Biomedical Sciences and one of the event’s organizers. 

“This year, we are also focused on amplifying the voices of those affected by cardiovascular disease. It will be a transformative event for our research and health communities.” 

HSC is inviting members of the community to participate in the symposium by sharing stories about how cardiovascular disease has impacted their lives. During the Red Out, Shout Out Showcase, the community is invited to share personal stories and testimonials, and highlight American Heart Month by showcasing various methods of artistic expression, including wearing red clothing and accessories. 

“Through the Red Out, Shout Out Showcase, we have an opportunity to hear from our community about how these diseases have directly or indirectly affected their lives — from the women themselves to their family members, friends and caretakers,” said Desiree Ramirez, HSC executive vice president and chief integrity and privacy officer, and one of the event’s organizers. “All family members, regardless of gender or age, are welcome to participate and give their impactful testimonies, giving our research community an opportunity to see how they continue to transform lives in order to improve the lives of others.” 

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from HSC and other North Texas universities will share their research on cardiovascular and brain health at poster and presentation sessions. Attendees also can access health resources at a community health exhibit.  

The event is free and open to the public. Those interested should register to attend or participate.

The Women’s Cardiovascular and Brain Health Symposium is sponsored by the HSC Office of the President and the university’s Division of Research. It will mark the beginning of HSC’s Black History Month and American Heart Month events.  

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