Pam Simons, VP of Clinical Affairs at AtriCure, Inc. and chairperson of the 2022 Twin Cities Go Red for Women campaign, has spent her entire career working in cardiovascular clinical research. In 2017, her world instantly changed when her husband, Rod Simons, a beloved Twin Cities sports broadcaster, died unexpectedly from an undiagnosed ruptured aortic aneurysm at the age of 56.
“All of a sudden, I was a widow and the sole provider for our 11-year-old daughter. The path of my life changed tremendously,” said Simons.
Knowing she had a strong family history of heart disease herself, taking care of her own heart health became even more critical to ensure Simons was there for her daughter.
“As women and mothers, we care for our families, give our best at work, manage our households, and more. With everything going on, we often overlook prioritizing our own health,” said Simons. “Disparity in access to healthcare further affects this very real issue.”
Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, claiming more lives each year than all forms of cancer combined.
Research shows heart attacks are on the rise in younger women. Data from a study published in Circulation suggests younger generations of women—Gen Z and Millennials—are less likely to be aware of their greatest health threat, including knowing the warning signs of heart attacks and strokes. That is why it is important for all women to take charge of their heart health and encourage others to do the same.
Go Red for Women is a worldwide initiative of the American Heart Association designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women locally, nationally, and globally.
“The mission of the American Heart Association, and Go Red for Women specifically, is important to me,” said Simons. “The Association’s work supporting research, awareness, and greater access to healthcare is critical to give women and families in our community the gift of health, hope, and more time. I am humbled to serve as the chair for the Go Red for Women campaign and am grateful for the support and encouragement of AtriCure to serve in this capacity.”
This year’s Go Red for Women movement and its local achievements will be celebrated on Thursday, February 3, 2022, at Quincy Hall in Minneapolis. For more information about the event and Go Red for Women visit www.heart.org/twincitiesgoredevents.