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VA Promotes National Wear Red Day to Raise Awareness of Heart Disease in Women Veterans

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs joins the nation in celebrating National Wear Red Day today to educate women Veterans about the risks of heart disease—the leading cause of death in American women and women Veterans. VA employees are encouraged to wear red to symbolize their awareness.

“VA is dedicated to providing the highest quality care for women Veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Through VA’s collaboration with the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement, we are prioritizing heart disease prevention and outreach to women Veterans.”

The VA-American Heart Association (AHA) collaboration launched in May 2012, enabling both organizations to work together to maximize their outreach and education efforts.

Cardiovascular disease frequently affects the fastest-growing demographic in VA’s female patient population—those who served in the Vietnam, post-Vietnam, and Gulf War I eras. Nearly one-third of women Veterans under VA care have high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure. To address this issue, VA has been aggressive in its fight against heart disease in women and has worked to eliminate gender disparities in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors. Two recent VA reports show VA has eliminated significant gender disparities in high blood pressure and diabetes and has reduced gender disparities in other areas.

In addition, a VA cardiovascular workgroup is examining ways to improve women Veterans’ heart health. VA also held a Healthy Heart event and expo outside its Washington headquarters in September for VA employees, many of whom are Veterans, and the public. VA is encouraging facilities to coordinate similar events locally.

“Addressing issues like cardiovascular disease head-on ties directly with our focus on personalized, proactive care for VA patients,” said Undersecretary for Health Robert Petzel, M.D.  “We will continue to exceed expectations in this and other critical issues facing women Veterans.”

Women serve in all branches of the military, representing 15 percent of today’s active duty military and nearly 18 percent of National Guard and Reserve forces. Women are the fastest growing cohort within the Veteran community. Of the 22.7 million living Veterans, more than 1.8 million are women. They comprise nearly 8 percent of the total Veteran population and more than 6 percent of all Veterans who use VA health care services.  On Jan. 25, VA announced the award of over 30 grants totaling more than $2 million to VA facilities for projects that will improve emergency health care services for women Veterans, expand women’s health education programs for VA staff, and offer telehealth programs to female Veterans in rural areas.

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About Posted by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer. In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials. Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat. Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republicanand The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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