The New Orleans American Heart Association branch hosted its first ever virtual event, swapping their usual “New Orleans Go Red For Women Luncheon” for a virtual “Lunch-in” to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death for women in the United States, and generate critical funds for lifesaving cardiovascular research.

Everyone provided their own lunch, but recipe suggestions were emailed to participants in advance. The heart healthy menu offered a grilled chicken flatbread with chopped salad and avocado yogurt, avocado banana overnight oats, turkey avocado lettuce tacos, avocado salad with tuna and an avocado berry smoothie.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Robert Hendel, Section Chief of Cardiology and Director of the Tulane University Heart & Vascular Institute. Other speakers were Christine O’Brien from United Healthcare, Diane Lyons from FestiGals and Patty Riddlebarger from Entergy.

Survivor Khadijah Rodgers shared her story of nearly losing her life to a severe stroke and how the science and research funded by The American Heart Association led to her remarkable recovery.

Ten local “Women in Medicine” were honored in 2020 for their contributions to the community and their patients. They were: Dr. Tamara Bradford, Pediatric Cardiologist at Children’s Hospital; Dr. Colleen Johnson, Cardiologist at Tulane; Dr. Kathleen Kennedy, Dean of the School of Pharmacy at Xavier University; Leslie LeBlanc, Director of Value-Based Programs at Tulane; Cheri Miller, Director of Care Management at LCMC; Tiffany Netters, Executive Director of 504 Health Net; Dr. Sylvia Oleck, Cardiologist at Tulane; Vicki Schilling, Clinical Manager of Cardiovascular Services at Touro; Lisa Tichenor, Senior Ventricular Assist Device at Ochsner; and Tina Westbrook, Cardiac Rehab Manager at Slidell Memorial. In addition, the program featured a #MoveMore dance break from Twitch & Allison and Women in STEM presented by Entergy.

A Pursenality Auction featured prizes donated by Nola Boo, Diamonds Direct, Dorignac’s, Shop Dolce, Rhonda Eckholdt, Meg Gatto, Nikki Greenway, Marjorie Handleman, Molly Kimball, LuLaRoe, Diane Lyons, Macy’s, Nicondra Norwood, Vaolbra, Suzanne Whitaker and Michael Williams.

Desiree Charbonnet served as Event Chair. “Go Red for Women” is nationally sponsored by CVS Health and the New Orleans Luncheon is locally sponsored by Peoples Health, United Healthcare, Entergy, Tulane Doctors, Lexus of New Orleans, Manning Architects, LAMMICO, LSU Health Sciences Foundation, Pan American Life Insurance Group and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana. Approximately $242,000 was raised.  Φ

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