THE BLOG
01/29/2014 11:34 am ET | Updated Mar 31, 2014

Meet 4 Heart Health Champions

Over the past decade, Woman's Day has made women's heart-health awareness a priority for the magazine. We weave this message into every issue by running news items on the latest research, recipes that meet heart-healthy standards, and everyday tips to incorporate little but doable changes into your life that benefit your heart. (My new favorite tip, one I've literally taken to heart: Eat yogurt! It's a great source of calcium, potassium and magnesium, all of which regulate blood flow.)

We also bring heart-health information off the pages with our annual Red Dress Awards. In 2004, Woman's Day held the first Red Dress Awards, honoring individuals who made contributions to fight cardiovascular disease in women. What started as a luncheon has grown into a star-studded party with top-notch musical performances. And now, 11 years later, we are preparing to celebrate another crop of incredible honorees on February 11 in New York City.

Every year, I get chills when I stand on the stage at Jazz at Lincoln Center and look out over the sea of red dresses. Everyone is there for the same reason: to celebrate and honor those who have worked tirelessly to improve the heart health of America and fight heart disease, the #1 killer of women.

Over the years, we've honored Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Barbara Walters, Hoda Kotb, former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and many other impressive recipients. I'm thrilled to introduce the 2014 Woman's Day Red Dress Award honorees here on The Huffington Post.

Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, International Nonprofit

After President Clinton's heart surgery in 2005, the Clinton Foundation partnered with the American Heart Association to found the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The Alliance works to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Through other initiatives, the Clinton Foundation also works to reduce preventable health issues such as heart disease and to improve access to healthcare for all Americans. You can read more about their work here.

Michelle A. Albert, MD, MPH, Director of Cardiovascular Medicine, Howard University

Dr. Albert is a cardiologist, researcher and longtime member of the Woman's Day Heart Health Advisory Board. She has devoted the last decade of her career to studying the gender-specific aspects of heart disease (such as the connection between stress and heart health in women), as well as ethnic differences in risk factors. Her work has led to a better understanding of heart-disease causes, which means that more women are able to take the appropriate steps to protect their hearts.

Martine Reardon, Chief Marketing Officer, Macy's

Thanks to Martine, heart-disease awareness has become a priority for the national retailer. For example, in February, Macy's offers discounts on red items to promote Wear Red Day, and they've devoted a section of their website to sharing lifesaving heart-disease information. Additionally, Martine's efforts over the past decade have resulted in more than $46 million raised for the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women movement, and she has chaired the annual Go Red NYC luncheon since 2006.

Mildred C. Rodriguez, WomenHeart Champion

Surviving a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery in 1998 made Mildred rethink her habits -- and notice the lack of heart-disease knowledge in her Hispanic community. She began to educate herself on the topic and discovered WomenHeart, the national coalition for women with heart disease. In 2010, she started the first WomenHeart support group in Miami for Spanish-speaking women. Last year, she was the spokesperson at a congressional briefing on stroke awareness in Hispanic women.

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