Miss Black USA Comes to Howard University Hospital to Promote Healthy Hearts on MLK Day

WASHINGTON (Jan. 12) – Eighteen of the nation’s most beautiful women, all dressed in fabulous red gowns, will visit Howard University Hospital on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to charm patients, talk with hospital staff and D.C. area residents encourage women to take care of their hearts.

The women, Miss Black USA contestants, are in town for the annual Red Dress Photo Shoot, when the ladies adorn beautiful red dresses for a special promotional pageant photograph promoting February as Heart Month. 

But the women, who hail from Minnesota, Tennessee, Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, the Virgin Islands and other states, said they to do something to help others while in D.C.

“These young ladies, as well as the organization, strongly believe that service is a part of who we are,” said Karen Arrington, who founded the organization in 1965.  “We felt it was fitting to do something in tribute to a man who through his service changed America.  We couldn’t think of a better place to do that than at Howard University Hospital.”

After visiting with hospital patients, the women will gather in Freedmen’s Hall for a chat with local residents and hospital staff.

One message that they particularly want to drive home is that of the importance of developing healthy habits to protect hearts.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women, Arrington said.  One in four women die from heart disease annually.  That is particularly true of African-American women, Arrington said.

So, for the past three years, her organization has partnered with the Heart Truth Campaign, an initiative of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“We want to encourage young women, particularly young black women, to live a healthy lifestyle to avoid heart disease in the future,” Arrington said.

 “These women are not only beautiful, they’re highly intelligent,” she said.

Miss Louisiana has a master's degree in Public Administration.  Miss Maryland and Miss Michigan and have master’s degrees in public health.  Many of the women are undergraduates and Miss Nevada has a doctorate in physical therapy.

The event is free and open to the public.  Seats, however, are limited.  To register, call 202.865.1375 or email tdeyo@huhosp.org.


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