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Learn to Care for Your Heart

February is American Heart Month, drawing attention to heart disease, America’s No. 1 killer, and the strides being taken through research and education to raise awareness of risk factors and to decrease death rates.
Appropriately kicked off on “National Wear Red Day” the American Heart Association and its “Go Red For Women” movement urges everyone to support the fight against heart disease by wearing red.

More women than men die each year of cardiovascular diseases, yet only one in five American women believe that heart disease is their greatest health threat. This unfortunate reality has a lot to do with why the statistics on women and heart disease are so unsettling, and why the need for increased awareness is so important. Did you know…

  • Every year since 1984 more women than men have died of cardiovascular diseases.
  • One out of three women dies from heart disease.
  • Nearly 460,000 women every year die from heart disease, this is about one woman per minute.
  • 43 million American women are currently living with Cardiovascular disease.
  • Cardiovascular disease kills more women than the next 4 leading causes of death.
  • Helping women overcome the challenges they face in achieving and maintaining good heart health is vital to the overall health of our community.

In addition to education and information, it is essential that you measure your risk of heart disease and make a plan for how to prevent it in the near future. Be sure to make and appointment with your doctor to discuss your heart health and how you can safely plan for a healthier year.


Podcasts with St. John Providence physician experts focused on improving your health. Access the podcasts here beginning at the dates/times listed below:

Patrick Alexander, MDPatrick Alexander, MD
Specialty: Cardiology/Cardiovascular Disease

Topic: Peripheral Artery Disease

Joan Crawford, DOJoan Crawford, DO
Specialty: Cardiology/Cardiovascular Disease

Topic: Women & Heart Disease

Issac Grinberg, MDIssac Grinberg, MD
Specialty: Cardiology/Cardiovascular Disease

Topic: Working in Workouts

Sujana Gundlapalli, MDSujana Gundlapalli, MD
Specialty: Cardiology/Cardiovascular Disease

Topic: Nutrition – Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sohail Hassan, MDSohail A Hassan, MD
Specialty: Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology

Topic: Atrial Fibrillation – Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Thomas LaLonde, MDThomas LaLonde, MD
 Cardiology/Cardiovascular Disease

Topic: Managing Stress – Thursday, January 22, 2015

Do you know the health of your heart?

Many heart and vascular problems are caused by the build-up of plaque in the arteries that carry blood to the brain, abdominal organs, arms and legs. That condition is known as atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis, which can lead to heart attack, stroke and other serious problems.

Although early diagnosis is key to helping prevent the consequences of vascular disease, patients frequently show no signs or symptoms. For many the first sign of a problem is a major vascular event, such as heart attack, stroke or ruptured aneurysm.

Fortunately, simple, non-invasive tests are available to diagnose heart and vascular disease, even in those who have no symptoms. The Heart and Vascular Screening Clinic offers a full panel of tests that can identify cardiovascular disease. The diagnostic studies include

  • Blood work for cholesterol and diabetes
  • Blood pressure check
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Ankle brachial index (ABI), which shows how well blood is flowing to the limbs
  • Carotid ultrasound to show blood flow to the brain
  • Abdominal aorta ultrasound to check for aneurysm

The entire series of tests takes approximately one hour. The results, combined with information from the patient's medical history and lifestyle questionnaire, are used to develop an individual coronary risk profile. Shortly after the clinic visit, patients will receive a follow-up mailing with their risk profile and the test results to review with his or her primary care physician.

Insurance generally does not cover the cost of screenings such as these, but St. John Providence is offering this package of seven simple, non-invasive tests for only $75. Since cardiovascular disease can actually be prevented or lessened by reducing an individual's risk factors, most patients consider the cost an investment in their peace of mind.

The Heart and Vascular Clinic is offered at St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Providence Hospital, Providence Park Hospital, St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital, Macomb Center, St. John Macaomb-Oakland Hospital, Oakland Center, and St. John River District Hospital.

Appointments may be scheduled by calling 1-866-501-DOCS (3627).

American Heart Association and St. John Providence team up

The American Heart Association and St. John Providence Health System announced the launch of its free ‘Better U’ challenge, which encourages individuals to live a healthier life. The challenge begins with a virtual launch on Nov. 1 where applicants are encouraged to take a short assessment at to receive their starting heart score.

‘Better U’ is designed to motivate individuals during a 12-week challenge, which concludes Jan. 24. To improve their heart health, individuals can participate in various exercise classes and educational workshops. Attendees are encouraged to share their experiences with the community through social media and a public awareness campaign for a chance to receive Go Red give-a-ways.

“Studies show that heart disease is the number one killer of women,” said Dr. Joan Crawford, cardiologist at St John Macomb-Oakland Hospitals. “We hope to teach women healthy habits while having fun in the process of achieving an ideal heart score,” said Crawford.

To make the most out of the challenge, the American Heart Association encourages applicants to register online (search keyword Go Red) for free classes and personal improvement sessions with life coaches and health experts. The Association recommends incorporating a balanced diet and obtaining at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to improve heart health.

“It’s never too late to change your life,” said Crawford. “This challenge can potentially be the first step in improving an individual’s cardiac health. Every small change can get you closer to a better you,” she added.

Along the way, individuals are encouraged to post their before and new-me-in-progress photos using the hashtag #MIBetterU on Twitter or Facebook. Participants who’d like to share their story could be selected for the ‘Spotlight on U’ segment and be entered for fun prize give-a-ways during the challenge. If selected, applicants will debut at the Go Red Premiere Party Nov. 14 and their journey will be highlighted at the Go Red For Women Luncheon Feb. 6, 2015.

Go Red Better U Activity Dates and Locations

To register for an event below, visit our class registration page and search keyword Go Red.

Boot Camp:
Wednesdays, Nov. 5 - Jan. 21, 6 – 8 p.m. (20 students max.)
LifeStyle Fitness Gold LLC, 23047 Gratiot Ave., Eastpointe, Michigan 48021
Note: No class on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, or New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31

Saturdays, Nov. 1 – Jan. 24, 10 a.m. (50 students max.)
Providence Hospital, Fisher Auditorium
16001 W. 9 Mile Rd., Southfield, MI 48075

Mall walking:
Saturdays, Nov. 1 – Jan. 24, 8 a.m. (75 walkers max.)
27500 Novi Rd, Novi, MI 48377 (Meet at Starbucks)
Note: No walking on Thanksgiving Saturday, Nov. 29

All sessions to be held at the American Heart Association office, 40 Oak Hollow St., Ste. 220, Southfield, MI 48033 THROUGH NOV. 21st.
Capacity for all sessions: 20 max.

Healthy Cooking with Chef Veggie – Thursday, Nov. 20, noon
Leslie Griffin, Life Coach – Thursday, Nov. 20, 6-8 p.m.
Holiday Meal Makeover with Chef Nezaa – Monday, Nov. 24, 6-8 p.m.
Healing Your Body Naturally with Callie Bradford – Monday, Jan. 12, 6-8 p.m.

Makeup by Dior:
Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2-4 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. (25 participants max per session)
Macy's (Dior counter in the makeup area) at Twelve Oaks Mall
27500 Novi Road, Novi, MI 48377

Premiere Party:
Friday, Nov. 14, 7-10 p.m.
The Community House, 380 S. Bates St., Birmingham, MI 48009
$5 donation for admission. Register online at

My Life Check

My Life Check® was designed by the American Heart Association with the goal of improved health by educating the public on how best to live. These measures have one unique thing in common: any person can make these changes, the steps are not expensive to take and even modest improvements to your health will make a big difference. Start with one or two. This simple, seven step list has been developed to deliver on the hope we all have--to live a long, productive healthy life.

Take the My Life Check® assessment.

Women preventing heart disease

The American Heart Association has several tips and tools to help you keep your heart healthy. You can find out more here:

Heart Health Goals for Men & Women

Heart Health Goals for Men
For Men
Heart Health Goals for Women
For Women



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