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American Heart Association's 'Go Red for Women' Quilt Display Coming to Fort Atkinson

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Heart disease is the number one threat to a woman’s health, but only 13 percent of women in the U.S. believe it will affect their own health. Fort Memorial Hospital hopes to change that statistic through quilts stitched by Wisconsin quilters.

Fort Memorial Hospital will host a quilt exhibit created to inspire women to take better care of their hearts. The quilts, which will be on display in the Fort Memorial Hospital lobby January 22 through February 6, were created in response to one women’s vision. Helen Martin, a UW Hospital and Clinics nurse, combined two of her passions, quilting and nursing, to educate women about the signs, symptoms and seriousness of heart disease.

Martin visited quilt guilds, often with a friend and heart disease survivor who shared her personal story. She then invited other quilters to not only improve their own heart health, but also to join her in spreading the word. Quilters were encouraged to make and donate a quilt block. Many took it a step further and donated full quilts. More than 30 quilts were donated and many were sold to support the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement. Go Red is a national campaign to increase awareness of women and heart disease as the number one killer of women.

Quilt Exhibit Specifics
Love Your Heart – It’s Sew Important
January 22 – February 6, 2010
8 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., Monday – Friday
Fort Memorial Hospital – Hospital Lobby
611 Sherman Avenue, Fort Atkinson, WI

Free heart health information will be available at the exhibit and red dress pins will be available in the Partners Gift Shop for a $5 donation to the American Heart Association. Displayed quilts will also be for sale, with the proceeds benefiting the American Heart Association. Individuals who can’t attend the Go Red Quilt Exhibit, but would like to learn more about heart health, can do one of the following:

• Purchase Go Red For Women Quilts and Quilt Note Cards to support the American Heart Association at
• Learn more about women’s heart health by visiting

"Women who quilt tend to be sedentary, and that makes them a group that needs to know about the facts and risks of heart disease," says Martin, who works in UW Hospital’s medical-surgical unit.

Heart disease kills one in three women and is the leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, heart disease kills more people than the next five causes of death combined. Only one in five women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat. For more information on the Go Red for Women quilt display, contact the Fort HealthCare Health Promotion department at (920) 568-5244.