It’s a Wrap…Elnita McClain Women’s Center Virtual Go Red: Beyond the Red Dress 2021

The Elnita McClain Women’s Center virtual Go Red: Going Beyond the Red Dress event had over 200 attendees, proving that even though we may be apart physically, we can still be inspired to promote healthy lifestyles for our families and communities. The Texas Heart Institute was proud to help produce this Zoom event in collaboration with the Center’s newly appointed Executive Director Rose Broome and her Board of Directors, as well as the African Methodist Episcopal Church 10th District’s Bishop Vashti McKenzie and Supervisor Dr. Stan McKenzie.

The event included a dynamic panel discussion with health care professionals, healthy cooking demonstrations, survivor testimonies, a Get Fit workshop, and a celebration of the 2021 honorees. Executive Director Rose Broome kicked off the event with a daunting statistic: 1 in 3 deaths in African American women are from heart disease and stroke. However, she was excited to host events like this to empower women and show them that there is a different path through awareness and education.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner added words of support for the incredible work of the Elnita McClain Women’s Center. Dr. Stephanie Coulter, MD, founding Director of THI’s Women’s Center for Heart and Vascular Health, then introduced the event’s keynote speaker, THI’s own Dr. Joanna Molina-Razavi. Dr. Razavi shared her inspirational story of how she entered into the world of cardiac electrophysiology and was the first Hispanic woman to earn a fellowship at THI.

The program then took an interactive turn with a cooking demonstration from the Blessed Intelligent Godly (B.I.G.) Girls and a Get Up, Get Moving groove session with Jessica Kelley from Kinetik Pearl Fitness, teaching everyone the importance of a healthy diet and exercise.

One of the highlights of the event was the panel discussion moderated by Dr. Linda Frazier, Connectional WMS Health Commissioner. The panelists, Cornelia King and Dr. Tamia McEwen, both shed light on the dire statistics impacting African American women, including:

  • 2 out of 3 black women don’t realize that heart disease is an issue.
  • 1 in every 2 black women has had heart disease.

How do we change these realities? Dr. McEwen said that we need to allow ourselves to let go of the status quo and invite new ways of seeking well-being into our lives. Wellness is the active pursuit of being in good health. King suggested that women need to implement small changes in their lives to improve their daily health, like better meal planning. McEwen also reminded the ladies that self-care is paramount. Take time to pause and breathe – invite that pause into your life and understand that through awareness, preparation, and action, your health can improve.

Texas Heart Institute Ambassador, Trasetta Terry, a retired pharmacist, shared her testimonial and provided some wonderful words of wisdom, including knowing your body; get a second opinion; and most importantly, always choose to live life to the fullest.

The event wrapped up by celebrating the 2021 Go Red Honorees, presented by Board Member Dr. Olinda Johnson. These women have changed the conversation about health care for their respective communities and shown a commitment to serving their communities.

The honorees included:

  • Beverly Jean Nutall, North Texas Conference
  • Dorothy Smith-Manning, North Texas Conference
  • Twainia Wade Christmas, NW Texas Conference
  • Beverly Williams-Ayoma, NW Texas Conference?
  • Shirley J. Alexander, SW Texas Conference
  • Sylvia Johnson Wright, SW Texas Conference
  • Shamra Hodge, Texas Conference

Community awareness is the first step in breaking the cycle of heart disease in the African American population. THI was honored to be part of this incredible virtual celebration with the Elnita McClain Women’s Center and the African Methodist Episcopal Church 10th District