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Because women's heart health is not just a “once-a-year” event, the Women's Heart Foundation has designed a theme calendar to promote women's heart health and wellness the whole year through. You can use this calendar for programming hints and to schedule annual events in most any wellness setting.


Reminiscence Month
A time to recall, reminisce and record the memories of a lifetime.
For information, contact Margaret L. Ingram, Family History Center, PO Box 1339, Albany, OR 97321. email: Margaret@matrixdm.com
WHF's suggested activity: Use this month to rekindle old friendships and complete the family picture album. Frame your favorite pictures so you can enjoy seeing them each day. Record your family history and make a family tree.


National Heart Month

February 1-7 is WHF's Women's Heart Week
Purpose: To raise awareness about heart disease - the number one killer of women aged 35 and over, to bring attention to the rising death rate in women, to encourage women to adopt healthier lifestyles, and to promote gender separation of research and outcome data. Wear a purple ribbon the month of February to raise awareness about heart disease in women. To learn more about this serious health threat to women, go to Purple Ribbon .

The 7 FOCUS DAYS for Women’s Heart Week:

  • February 1: Risk Factors + Symptoms Awareness Day
    Take the Women’s Heart Risk quiz and learn about your personal risk for heart disease. Learn about signs and symptoms of heart attack – both typical and atypical symptoms . If you smoke, go to Quitting Smoking –– A Self–Paced Guide and to Get Smart About Smoking. Smoking is the #1 controllable risk for heart disease. For tips on better communication with your healthcare professional go to Improve Communication With Your Doctor.
  • February 2: Exercise and Fitness Awareness Day
    Ask your doctor or healthcare practitioner if you can Start a Walking Program. Organize a Heart Walk at your place of work or ask an aerobics instructor to lead an employees fitness workout session.
  • February 3: Nutrition and Supplements Awareness Day
    Learn to read and interpret food labels. Go to Reading Food Labels. Organize a “Food Labels Tour” at your local supermarket with a dietitian or nutritionist instructing. Be on the look out for saturated and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats. Know where to find the salt content of food if on a sodium-restricted diet. Find out how to increase dietary fiber. Learn about the heart health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. If you need to lose weight, learn about how to become a leaner cook.
  • Learn about the risks, possible benefits and precautions to observe if considering taking a dietary supplements. Go to Dietary Supplements.
  • February 4: Holistic Health and Stress Awareness Day
    Follow a pathway for a healthy heart. Practice relaxation and deep breathing exercises. Arrange for a Tai Chi demonstration at your place of work. If faced with multiple roles as wife, mother and caregiver, look into job share situations to better meet your needs.
  • Discover mindfulness meditation and yoga. Learn how to listen to your inner voice. Refer to “Passages” by Gail Sheehy for gaining insight about menopause... a time of great change for a woman.
  • February 5: Medication Safety Awareness Day
    Make a list of all of your medications using a Medication Record (English version); or Medication Record (Spanish version). List all medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Include birth control pills or patch, vitamins and suppplements.
  • February 6: Health Care Self-Management Awareness Day
    Be aware of a changing healthcare environment and the need to better manage one's own health data. Take charge of your health. Complete a Cards4Life Personal Health Record for each member of your family - a wellness charting system to improve practitioner-patient communication. Download a personal health file at www.cards4life.com.
  • February 7: Positive Self-Image Awareness Day
    Treat yourself well. Give yourself a weekly facial. Lotion your hands and feet before bedtime every night. Connect with friends regularly. Wear a special outfit at least once a week - one that makes you look and feel your best. Donate your time to a worthy cause. Appreciate how the mind-body connection affects your overall health and well-being.

2nd week in February: Cardiac Rehab Week
Purpose: Raise awareness about cardiac rehabilitation program benefits. Information: The American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehab, 7611 Elmwood Avenue, Suite 201, Middleton, WI 53562. (608) 831-6989.


National Nutrition Month
Purpose: to educate consumers about the importance of good nutrition by providing the latest practical information on how simple it can be to eat healthfully. The “Eat Right America Campaign.
Information: The American Dietetic Association, 216 West Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60606-6995. Ph 3312-899-0040 extension 4759. Fax (312) 899-1739

Women's History Month

4th Tuesday in March: American Diabetic Alert Day
Purpose: “Wake-up call” for those 8 million Americans who have diabetes and don't even know it. During the alert, local ADA affiliates use Diabetic Risk Test to communicate risk factors and symptoms of the disease. Information: Call 800-Diabetes. (342-2383) or call (800) 232-3472

WHF's suggested activity: Call 1-800-Diabetes to learn if you're at risk. Shockingly, 8 million Americans have diabetes and don't even know it!! According to the American Diabetes Association, there are many tell-tale signs of diabetes. If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, consult with your doctor:

  • Frequent urination
  • Increased hunger and thirst
  • Blurred vision
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Poorly healing cuts or bruises
  • Tingling or numbness in hands, feet, or legs
  • Dry or itchy skin
If you have diabetes, WebMD recommends the following:
  • Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet (e.g., high-fiber foods such as beans, fruits and vegetables, and grains)
  • Regularly exercise / maintain a weight that is good for your body
  • Take diabetes medicine
  • Test your blood sugar regularly
For more information, go to...

March 8 is Working Women's Day International


April 1-7 is WHF's Medication Safety Week
Purpose: to raise awareness about medication safety and offer strategies to reduce risk. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an estimated 76.6 billion dollars is spent annually on preventable medication-related illnesses. Taking a more active role to learn about medicines and supplements and communicating more effectively with healthcare practitioners may avert serious harm.

The 7 FOCUS DAYS of Medication Safety Week:

  • April 1: Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Awareness Day
    Start with a clean slate. Discard outdated medicines and old prescriptions. Store medicines in their original containers and in a cool, dry place. Locate medicines away from children and pets and and from those who do not understand.
  • April 2: Know Your Medicines Awareness Day
    Make a list of all the medicines you are taking. Write down both the generic and brand names of medicines as this may prevent inadvertently double-dosing. Know the drug’s purpose and why you are taking it. Be able to identify pills by name. List prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, birth control pills and patches and supplements. Keep the list updated and keep it with you at all times. Go to Medication Record (English version); or Medication Record (Spanish version); and to Health History Record (English version).
  • April 3: Reading Medicine Labels Carefully Awareness Day
    Keep medicines in their original containers. Pay attention to warnings. Note that some medicines can react with foods. Others have to be taken on an empty stomach. Some lose potency quickly and must be kept in an air-tight container. The effectiveness of many medicines is dependent upon taking them at correct times. How the medicine is to be taken –the route – is also important (i.e. by mouth, through the skin, under the tongue, inhaling, rectal or vaginal suppository, enema or douche). Be Careful!
  • April 4: Dietary Supplements Awareness Day
    Discuss taking a dietary supplement with your doctor or practitioner and your pharmacist before starting it. Herbals and other dietary supplements can react with medicines and have an unknown synergistic effect. All herbals are contraindicated while pregnant or breastfeeding. Go to Dietary Supplements. Go to www.fda.gov/cdr/drug/advisory/stjort.htm - the federal government's drug advisory on drug interactions with St. John's Wort. Go to http://nccam.nih.gov , an information resource on complimentary and alternative medicines.
  • April 5: Organize Your Medicines Awareness Day
    Take medicines as prescribed. Using a medicine organizer box may be helpful, especially for those taking more than one pill several times a day, however, a medicine organizer box requires close monitoring, especially when there is a change in medicines. Use of the organizer violates the rule of keeping medicines in their original containers. New drugs with time-release action offers the freedom of once-a-day medicating. Ask your doctor about these new medications. Go to Taking Medications Safely.
  • April 6: Transitional Care Awareness Day
    Be cautious whenever there is a change in your medical regimen. Double check your medicines when picking up a new or refilled prescription. If in a hospital or nursing home, make sure the nurse checks your I.D. bracelet before giving you your pills. If a pill doesn't look familiar to you, ask why. It may be a generic of the same drug you were taking, but, if you don't ask, you won't know! Get written instructions upon discharge from any medical facility. Go to Taking Medications Safely for more tips.
  • April 7: Better Communication With Health Professionals Awareness Day
    Actively seek information from your pharmacist about the pills and supplements you are taking. Ask for print-out sheets on all drugs. Discuss all risks and benefits with your prescribing practitioner. Share information about all the medicines and supplements you are taking with every prescribing practitioner and your pharmacist. Discuss expected effects and possible side effects. Discuss if there are any serious side-effects that your doctor needs to know about right away. Report adverse effects promptly and never hesitate to ask questions when it comes to your health. Go to Taking Medications Safely. Go to Taking Coumadin® at Home for safety tips when taking warfarin (generic name for Coumadin) – a blood thinner. Go to www.lamycenter@rx.umaryland.edu for information about geriatric medicine and to http://gerontology.umaryland.edu/docs/lamy.html. Ask consumer questions (outlined on the bottom of the page of Women’s Heart Foundation Medication Record - English version or the Medication Record - Spanish version.) If you have any concerns at all, call your pharmacist. Your pharmacist is there to help...Just Ask!

April is CDC's Minority Health Month . Take stock in how minorities experience worse health outcomes and actively protect your family's good health.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month and Stress Awareness Month
WHF's suggested activities

  • Simplify your life. Get organized. Reduce the amount of clutter in your environment to regain a sense of peace and well-being. List 100 things you can do to simplify your life.
  • List ten personal goals you would like to achieve the year's end. Place a number next to each goal in order of importance. Next, pick the top three and plan action steps to achieve your goals.

4th Thursday in April: National Take Our Daughters to Work Day
Take Our Daughters to Work Day is celebrated the 4th Thursday in April annually. Sponsored by Ms Foundation.
Purpose: TODTWD has succeeded in mobilizing parents, educators, employers and other caring adults to take action to redress the inequities in girl's lives and focus national attention on the concerns, hopes and dreams of girls.
Information: Contact Laura Wechsler, National Media Manager, 120 Wall Street, 33rd Floor, NY, NY 10005. (800) 676-7780. Email: todtwcom@ms.foundation.org www.ms.foundation.org
WHF suggested activity: Participate in TODTWD

April 19-25: National Volunteer Week
Honors those who reach out to others through volunteer community service and calls attention to the need for more community services for individuals and groups and families. Help solve seniors social problems. Points of Light Foundation, 1737 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006. (202) 223-9186. email: volnet@aol.com
WHF suggested activity #4: Become an Interfaith Caregiver volunteer.

April is National Organ Donor and Tissue Awareness Month
About 3,000 people die each year waiting for a donor organ. Currently almost 58,000 people are on national waiting lists and a new name is added every 16 seconds. If you would like to be an organ donor, you must tell your family. For more information and a donor card, call the donor network number in your state.


Women's Health Care Month
WHF suggested activity: Schedule an appointment for your annual physical. Update your immunizations. Commit to healthy lifestyle changes. Do “pulse check America” to screen for atrial fibrillation, per recommendation of National Stroke Association. Go to Pulse Check page for instructions on how to do a pulse check.

2nd Sunday in May: Mother's Day

National Stroke Awareness Month
Information: National Stroke Association, 96 Inverness Drive East, Ste 1, Englewood, CO 80112-5112. (800) STROKES
Go to Are you at risk for stroke?
Go to What is a stroke?
Go to Stroke Warning Signs
Go to Taking Your Blood Pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke.
Go to Atrial Fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is also a risk factor for stroke.

1st week in May starting Sunday: Flexible Work Arrangement Week
Promote experimentation with rearranged work schedules and working at home or at neighborhood work centers. Annually the 1st week (starting with Sunday). For more information, contact Maggi Payment, 1286 University Avenue #192, San Diego, CA 92103 619-232-0404.


National Family Health Month
Observance to celebrate and promote strong and supportive families. Sponsored by Kidspeace®, private, nonprofit organization helping kids overcome crisis since 1882. Commemorated annually Mother's Day through Father's Day. For more information, contact Paula Knause, Kids Peace, 5100 Tilghamn Street, Suite 010, Allentown, PA 18104 (610) 799-8325. http://www.kidspeace.org
WHF's suggested activity: Update immunizations for yourself and your family members. Call and make appointments for annual check-ups.


2nd week in July: National Family Fitness Week
WHF's suggested activity: Ask yourself if your family is fit physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. What can you do to improve the fitness level of your family?


August 1: Anne Frank Remembered... “Be Somebody. Be What You Want to Be” Day – Commemorate by mentoring a teen for the day (aged 14-16) at your place of work.
Purpose: To honor the memory of Anne Frank, a 15-year-old holocaust victim whose hopes and dreams were recorded in a diary while she and her family lived in hiding for three years during the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler. August 1 was the last recorded entry into her diary. Anne was born June 12, 1929 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. She died March 1945 at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp near Hannover, Germany. Anne wrote “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” For more information, do a web search on “Anne Frank”. WHF's suggested activity: Mentor a teen for the day at your place a work. Help a young person explore their dreams. A recommended resource for teens and others looking into career opportunities: Be What You Are by Warren W. Wiersbe - for helping a person decide suitable career choices based on personality type. A recommended activity for teens is to keep a journal to record your thoughts and feelings. Gain insite into what makes you happy.


September is National Cholesterol Education Month

WHF suggested activity: Ask your doctor or healthcare practitioner the following at your next visit:

  • What is my cholesterol? May I have a copy of my blood work results?
  • What are the different types of cholesterol and what do they mean?
  • How high should my “good” HDL cholesterol be, and what can I do to raise it?
  • How low should my “bad” LDL cholesterol be, and what can I do to lower it?
  • How often should I have my cholesterol checked?
  • How is cholesterol a risk for heart disease?
  • Can I improve my blood cholesterol naturally – without medicine?
  • Do I need medicine to reduce my “bad” cholesterol? If so, what are the side-effects of this medicine?
  • How long will I need to take this medicine?
  • What are my target cholesterol numbers?

American Heritage Month

September 15 - October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 14 is International Cross-Cultural Day
Purpose: Observes remembrance of cultural differences that give their nations their important distinctive attributes and heritages. People should renew efforts to know and understand differences of other cultures as means of promoting international good will. For Information: Suzanne Collier, Window on World Inc., 123 North Third Street, Ste 303, Minneapolis, MN 55401. (612) 338-3698. Email: wowintl@aol.com WHF suggested activity: Celebrate your heritage by preparing a traditional family meal that was from a recipe passed down to you. Learn about another person's cultural background and what her family's favorite traditional meal is.


Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month

Women's Health Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month


National Family Caregivers Month
Purpose: National Family Caregivers Week is celebrated the week before Thanksgiving to recognize the millions of family caregivers. For information, contact Suzanne Geffen Minty, President, National Family Caregivers Association, 9621 East Bexhill Drive, Kensington, MD 20895-3104. (800) 896-3650. Email: info@nfcacares.org www.nfcacares.org
WHF suggested activity: visit Mrs. Rosalynn Carter's website at http://rci.gsw.edu offering support with chat room for caregivers. Get organized with care-giving. Go to WHF's Caregiver Support page. Medication Record, Care Plan, Safety Check.

3rd Thursday in November is the Great American Smoke–Out observed annually to celebrate smoke-free environment. Contact: PR Department, American Cancer Society. www.cancer.org

4th Thursday in November: Thanksgiving


Month of Spiritual Renewal

In December, those of the Jewish faith celebrate Hanukkah - the Feast of Dedication; Christians celebrate Christmas - the birth of Jesus Christ; and many American Black families observe Kwanza (since 1966) in recognition of traditional African harvest festivals - a feast that stresses unity of the Black family.
WHF's suggested activity: Read Ideals series to focus less on commercialization and more on traditional values. Although Ideals is centered on the Christmas season, the spiritual philosophy and traditions can be applied to other faiths.Ideals Christmas by Tim Hamling, editor, received a 5 star rating listed on Amazon.com. Paperback published in Sept ‘93 is a favorite and is out of print. Check at your local library for this book or you can check the “out of print” section of www.Amazon.com



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1999-2000; updates: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 Women's Heart Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited. The information contained in this Women's Heart Foundation (WHF) Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and WHF recommends consultation with your doctor or health care professional.