When the American Heart Association introduced its Go Red For Women movement 10 years ago, St. Vincent Health stepped forward to become the presenting sponsor in Indianapolis.
St. Vincent female executives have chaired the campaign four times, helping to grow the annual Go Red For Women Luncheon to an event that draws more than 1,000 women, one of the largest Go Red events in the nation. This year, Darcy Burthay, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer for St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital, chairs the campaign, which hosts the annual luncheon Feb. 21 at the JW Marriott.
“St. Vincent has always been known for their heart care,” Burthay stated. “The partnership with the American Heart Association and the fact that the focus of Go Red For Women is cardiology and cardiac care makes the partnership between the two a natural fit. Go Red For Women and St. Vincent have really had an impact over the 10 years — not just caring for the person who has a cardiac condition, but how we prevent that in individuals within our community.”
Burthay’s work as chair has taken on several dimensions, including encouraging women to take more action regarding their own heart health.
“We’ve done a really nice job with awareness, and I think that if something is wrong, women are more in tune with their bodies and saying this may be a heart condition,” she stated. “What we need to see more of is turning that awareness into action: encouraging women to prioritize getting to the gym, getting to their physician for that physical every year, eating healthier and making better choices. Women can just start with something simple and hardwire that change, then continue to incorporate new healthy choices one at a time.”
Burthay is also working to secure additional business relationships that will ensure the success of Go Red For Women for many more years to come.
“I’ve enjoyed spending time collaborating with other individuals in the community around a common cause,” stated Burthay, who leads Go Red’s executive leadership team of 19 women representing 11 companies.
“What I have found to be rewarding is that we haven’t just been focused on success for 2014, but that we are building relationships that will sustain Go Red over the next several years so that our daughters and granddaughters can benefit. With 10 years of success, and more than 650,000 lives saved nationally, the groundwork has been laid for thousands more women to live healthier lives for years to come.