You may have noticed a red hue illuminating the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin hallways this month. You also may have noticed employees wearing red throughout Children’s Hospital and Health System. These efforts support the fight against heart disease and stroke.

Heart disease is the number one killer of both women and men. The Go Red initiative draws awareness to this and encourages people to take action to decrease their risk. These actions can be as simple as eating healthy and exercising.

If you are at risk for heart disease, try adjusting to a healthier diet of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, beans and legumes, lean meat and nuts. Also try to be physically active for at least 30 minutes, most days of the week.

Unfortunately, not everyone can prevent heart disease. For those patients at the Herma Heart Center, heart disease often is congenital. These patients also need support. If you’d like to show your support for our patients and those who are at risk for heart disease, join the CHHS employees – wear red on Friday, Feb. 11.

Heart health awareness can help save lives. If you or a loved one is experiencing chest discomfort, discomfort above the waist, shortness of breath, cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness, call 911 immediately. For more information about heart health, go to

Maryanne Kessel, MBA, RN– Maryanne Kessel, MBA, RN, executive director, Herma Heart Center, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Herma Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is one of the nation’s top programs for medical and surgical treatment of congenital heart defects and heart disease in children.

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