Northern Light Health glows red for American Heart month

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States. While education and technological advancements have helped increase awareness and survivorship, thousands of Mainers have lost friends or loved ones to cardiovascular disease. In support of those whose lives have been affected by cardiovascular disease in our communities, and for those who are taking steps to improve their heart health, Northern Light Health is lighting our hospitals red for American Heart Month.

“We all know how common heart disease is and just how serious it can be,” says Zachary Trzaska, MD, cardiologist with Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital. “One of the best defenses we have against cardiovascular disease is taking preventive measures, which can be either big or small steps, depending on the individual. Moderate exercise and healthy eating, for example, can go a long way for most people. However, when a patient has a diagnosis that requires advanced treatment options, they can be assured that we offer those, so they know they won’t have to travel too far for care.”

Though some of the symptoms of cardiovascular disease can be obvious, such as irregular heart rhythm or intense chest pain, others can be more subtle, particularly for women. Those can include pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach, or breaking out in a cold sweat and having nausea or lightheadedness. That’s one of the reasons that, in addition to lighting our facilities red for the month, Northern Light Health is encouraging all staff members to participate in National Go Red for Women day on Friday, February 2, an initiative to raise awareness for women’s heart health. For 20 years, the Go Red for Women initiative has helped to shine a light on the fact that heart disease remains not only the leading cause of death for men, but also for women in the U.S.

“By going red for women on February 2 and glowing red all month long, we hope to inspire those within our communities to develop heart-healthy habits with their family, friends, and neighbors,” adds Craig Brett, MD, medical director of Northern Light Mercy Cardiovascular Care. “We want to see our fellow Mainers be proactive, and to be alert to the early signs of heart disease. Treating heart problems early is much better than recovering from a life-threatening cardiac event.”

To learn more about how you can keep your heart healthy, visit


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