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Take Care of Your Heart

Today, February 13th, across Canada we wear red to raise awareness for women’s heart health. As sisters of Alpha Phi, we take on the initiative to raise money to help fund research for heart disease and provide programs designed to help women. Alpha Phi has dedicated the month of February to Cardiac Care. Each collegiate chapter across Canada and the United States work directly with their local cardiac care centres and programs to promote awareness of women’s heart disease within their community.

In Canada, heart disease is the number one killer of Canadian Women and is responsible for more deaths overall than cancer combined.

The Alpha Phi Foundation, founded in 1956, was created specifically to support women and cardiovascular health. Not only does the Alpha Phi Foundation work toward providing support in programs and in research, but the foundation specializes in funding for diagnosing proper symptoms in women, providing treatments focusing on female health and planning better prevention steps. We take this initiative because women’s hearts are under-studied and in most cases, under-diagnosed and under-treated.

Alpha Phi collegiate chapters across Canada will wear red for all the sisters, family, and friends who have been under-diagnosed. We, the Iota Upsilon chapter, are the representative chapter of Alpha Phi for the city of Ottawa. We work closely with the University of Ottawa Heart Health Institute and the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre to raise awareness and funds for women’s heart health.

The University of Ottawa Heart Health Institute is one of Canada’s most distinguished centres focusing on heart health. With their focus on patients, they have dedicated themselves to patient care and are recognized as the country’s main influencer in preventing heart disease. We are so fortunate to work so closely with the University of Ottawa to encourage and provide funding for cardiovascular research.

Within our community, our chapter has a great relationship with the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre. Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre has a mission to better the leadership in the development, implementation, and evaluation of cardiovascular prevention and management strategies to improve women’s cardiovascular health. They focus on making a social change to ensure women have access to information regarding heart health.

To bring about more attention to the cause, each year collegiate chapters of Alpha Phi host a philanthropic event called Red Dress Gala. This event includes a silent auction, guest speakers, and a dinner for all guests, family, and alumnae. This past year our chapter was able to host a speaker from the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre who provided information to how our funding helps research and patients and how we can better take care of our health. Thank you to everyone who helped our Chapter raise over $25,000 for women’s heart health.

For more information on heart health in the Ottawa community please visit the websites listed below!

University of Ottawa Heart Health Institute

Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre

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