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The Catalyst

MUSC Employee Wellness

By Susan Johnson, Ph.D.
Office of Health Promotion director

The statistics are staggering:

  • Heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of women, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
  • Heart disease kills more women than men, at an average rate of one death per minute.

Many of these deaths can be prevented, but most women don’t notice the symptoms until it’s too late. So, MUSC along with the American Heart Association’s “Go Red For Women,” will focus the focus throughout February on what’s called the “silent killer,” including detection, prevention and treatment in an effort to improve those numbers.

Did you know that only about 50 percent of women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack?

One in three American women suffer from heart disease, but only one in five believe she is personally at risk, thinking heart disease doesn’t happen to “someone like me.” Eighty percent of cardiac events in women may be prevented if they make the right choices for their hearts, involving diet, exercise and abstinence from smoking.

Employees, students as well as members of the community are encouraged to attend two great Go Red events in February to learn more about heart related illness. First, sign up to run or walk in the 4th annual Go Red Heart 5K Run and Walk on Saturday, Feb. 1 at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina in Mt. Pleasant. This certified 5k is a fast, flat course, that’s family and pet friendly too. Visit Save $5 with promo code GORED for details.

Then on Friday, Feb. 7, wear red to help raise awareness of heart disease, and stop by Ashley River Tower lobby from noon to 2p.m. for MUSC’s Go Red Day.  This is a free event, featuring free blood pressure readings, info on seven simple ways to improve your heart health, fitness demonstrations, lots of freebies, chair massages and more. At 12:30 p.m. participants will form a human heart on the stairs of the Atrium for a group photo.

Sodexo will be sponsoring a contest throughout February to highlight the right food choices for a healthier heart. Purchase any one of the daily Mindful by Sodexo specials in either the ART or UH cafeterias. Write your name on the back of the receipt and drop it in the contest box. (On Feb. 7 there will multiple Mindful entrees offered in support of Go Red Day.) Prizes include two first place prizes: $50 meal card and two second place prizes: $25 meal card (one first place and one second place winner will be chosen from each cafeterias). Multiple entries are allowed.

The Employee Wellness Fitness Series class this month will be Cardio Power - a higher end fitness level class that uses intense cardio intervals with strength training to maximize results, and be sure to look for daily Heart Health tips via broadcast messages. Sessions at the MUSC Urban Farm will highlight ideas for “Planning a heart-healthy Spring garden.” And look for the Go Red symbol, a red dress painted on windows around town to help raise awareness of women’s risks for heart disease beyond the MUSC campus.

Wellness Events

  • 4th annual Go Red Heart 5k Run and Walk on Saturday, Feb. 1 at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina in Mt. Pleasant. This certified 5K is a fast, flat course, that’s family and pet friendly too. Visit Save $5 with promo code GORED for details.
  • Go Red Day at MUSC Help MUSC Go Red from 12 to 2 p.m., Feb. 7, Ashley River Tower for this free event featuring free blood pressure screenings, freebies, heart health info, hands–free CPR demonstrations, chair massages and more. Help form a “human heart” at 12:30 p.m. on the stairs.
  • Worksite screening: The next worksite screening will be held Feb. 14, Gazes Building Auditorium, room 125, valued at about $350, is available to employees of the State Health Plan (including the MUSC Health Plan) for only  $15 (covered spouses also can participate for $15). Employees and spouses without this insurance can participate for $42. To register, go to
  • Employee XPRESS membership to MUSC Wellness Center: Employees will be offered a one–year membership (no spouses or dependents) for $25 per month ($15 enrollment fee). Workouts during limited hours, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., weekdays; 8 to 10 p.m., Monday to Thursday and 6 to 8 p.m., Friday. Register at the Wellness Center membership desk.
  • MUSC Employee Wellness Fitness Series — Join Katie Blaylock for a free Cardio Power class from 4:15 to 4:45 p.m., Feb. 19 at the Wellness Center. Register via email to
  • Mindful by Sodexo — Offered at Main and ART cafeterias. Throughout February, diners may enter a chance to win two first place prizes ($50 meal card) or two second place prizes ($25 meal card). Winners will be selected from the entrees (a winner from each cafeteria). Purchase any of the daily Mindful entrees in the cafeteria, write your name on the back of the receipt and drop it into the contest box. Multiple entries are allowed.
  • Chair massages: Free massages are offered to employees on Tuesday nights and midday Wednesdays. Look for broadcast messages for locations and times.
  • Farmers Markets: Enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers on Tuesdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Harborview); Wednesday sand Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ART); and Fridays, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Horseshoe)

MUSC Urban Farm
Lunch and Learn — 12 to 1 p.m., Jan. 30. Like us on Facebook and email to get the Farm Newsletter

  • Sunset Work & Learn, 4 to 5 p.m., Jan. 22
  • Early bird maintenance — Wednesdays 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

For information, contact or about Employee Wellness events and activities.

February 2, 2014

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