2008-09-05 / News

Yvette Freeman of the NBC Hit Series ER to Speak at "Women at Heart" Forum and Exhibition

Contributed by Palmetto Health

Yvette Freeman Yvette Freeman Palmetto Health and Blue- Cross BlueShield of South Carolina are sponsoring "Women at Heart," a free health forum and exhibition to help women learn to take better care of their hearts, on Sept. 20 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. (Health screenings start at 7 am.) Yvette Freeman of the NBC hit series ER will be the celebrity guest speaker for the event.

Freeman is best known for her long- time role as Nurse Haleh Adams on ER, which is going into its 14th season. She also is nationally known as an actress, entertainer, singer, and motivational speaker on the topics of women's heart health and diabetes. Freeman, who has a personal story to tell the women of South Carolina, overcame heart disease and diabetes when she lost 120 pounds and totally changed her life. She will share her personal struggles and tips on how other women can successfully become heart healthy.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death of American women. According to the American Heart Association, nearly twice as many women in the United States die of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases as from all forms of cancer, including breast cancer.

Free heart health screenings will be offered at the Women at Heart event from 7 am to noon. Health screenings will include: a fasting lipid panel, blood pressure, body mass index, fasting glucose, and hemoglobin A1C. Vision screening also will be provided. Some, but not all screenings, require a 12- hour fast and registration is required. Participants are encouraged to register early for the event since free health screenings are open to everyone, but spaces are limited. Participants who register before Sept. 12 will be entered to win one of two $250 shopping sprees.

A cardiologist, from Columbia Heart, will discuss women's heart disease risk factors and answer questions from the floor in an "Ask the Doctor" session. Other activities include cooking demonstrations and samples of heart healthy recipes provided by chefs from USC's Columbia's Cooking; motivational speakers; belly dancing and Zumba lessons; stress management advice; fitness tips and "at home" exercise instruction from a certified personal trainer; food; door prizes and a wide variety of vendor exhibits.

"Our goal is to provide as many women as possible with valuable life- saving information, and have fun at the same time," said Tiffany Sullivan, Palmetto Health's Director of COPA Programs.

For more information or to register, call 296-2273 or toll free at 800-249-4340. Or visit palmettohealth. org/WomenAtHeart.

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