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The Right Choice


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Studies show the average U.S. adult is faced with an unbelievable 35,000 decisions every day.  It starts the moment we get out of bed. Wait. Back up. Our first choice is simply to get out of bed. How many times did you “decide” to hit snooze this morning?

Once we’ve decided to face the day on our feet, the decisions come at us like rapid fire. To shave or not to shave? Long sleeves or short? White toast or wheat? Walk, bike, drive or carpool? By the time we get to our first actual task of the day, we’re on the way to decision fatigue which can lead to the choice of least resistance.

Decision fatigue is often the reason we reach for that candy bar in the grocery store checkout line when our cart is full of heart-healthy foods. Research reveals rash decisions or bad choices are often a result of mental exhaustion.

The problem, according to the American Heart Association, is that not all choices are created equal and the important ones for your health don’t always have the most immediate consequences.

“The decisions we think least about - the ones we think are most insignificant - can actually be the ones that matter most,” said Jennifer Redmond, Omaha Metro executive director for the American Heart Association. “Stairs or elevator. Baked or fried. The small choices add up and can literally be the difference between life and death.”

To address the importance of good decisions, Omaha Go Red For Women, the American Heart Association’s campaign rallying the community to fight heart disease in women, is using its signature event this year to educate guests in “making the right choices” for themselves and their health.

“Our goal with the Go Red For Women movement and the Go Red For Women Expo is to empower, educate, and save lives one choice at a time,” Redmond said.

The Go Red For Women Expo, presented by Methodist Health System on Sept. 18, features a health expo and sit-down dinner program focusing on the challenges and rewards of positive choices.


Even thinking about the sheer number of choices you make in a single day can be exhausting, but Karen Cannia, cardiovascular service line executive for Methodist Health System, assures there is good news when it comes to decision making and your health. Just as bad choices can lead to more bad choices, one positive choice often leads to another, she says.

“The key is to make positive choices part of your lifestyle. If you regularly take a morning walk, it doesn’t take long for it to become less of a choice and more of a habit,” said Cannia.

Go Red For Women Expo Chair Pam Alfrey Hernandez, executive vice president of Operations and Strategy at Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Company, says this year’s Go Red For Women Expo theme is significant for everyone.

“Choosing to attend the Go Red For Women Expo is not only a fun choice, it could save your life or someone you know,” Hernandez said.

Joining Hernandez in event leadership roles are Honorary Chair Sandy Callahan, and Circle of Red Chair Kate Dodge.

The Go Red For Women Expo opens at 4:30 p.m. with registration, health expo, empowerment sessions, and a “purse-inality” silent auction. At 6:30 p.m., guests will enter the ballroom for dinner and an inspirational program which includes a keynote address by Dr. Joann Schaefer.

Schaefer is the state’s Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Division of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. On the last day of her residency, Schaefer found out she would need a liver transplant. That news set her on an incredible journey filled with choices.

“Joann’s story is one I could hear over and over again and get goose bumps every time. I think people will be surprised to learn about the starring role heart health and American Heart Association-funded research play in her story,” Hernandez said.  “I know every person in the room will leave feeling inspired and empowered to make positive choices for their body, mind, and spirit,” Hernandez said.

Omaha’s Go Red For Women Expo aims to raise $200,000 for the cause through this event. The campaign uses the dollars to increase awareness of heart disease among women and fund medical research and professional education.

Tickets to the Go Red For Women Expo cost $75 each and must be reserved by Sept. 4. Purchase tickets and learn more by visiting www.OmahaGoRedForWomen.org <http://www.omahagoredforwomen.org/>  or by calling Terri at (402) 346-0771 ext. 12.

“The Go Red For Women Expo helps women get the information they need to ensure they are not one of the hundreds of thousands of women that die from heart disease each year,” said Hernandez. “Make the right choice – Go Red!”





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