SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
1. Where are you from?
I am originally from the
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area but
now live in North Tonawanda. I
help run biz Win Strategies, a local
executive search firm with my
2. Why do you support the
American Heart Association?
The American Heart Association
changes and saves lives by providing
education to people of all ages
and conducting groundbreaking
research for medical advancement.
It is important to my husband and
me from a personal, community
and humanity standpoint that
there is greater awareness about
cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
While heart disease is the #1 killer
nationally, stroke is #3 in Western
New York, higher than the national
average. That is a devastating
statistic. These things can be
3. Why did you decide to
chair the Go Red For Women
Luncheon this year? What does
that mean to you?
We have always made it
our mission to give back to the
community. Dharshan built so
much momentum with his executive
leadership team and the American
Heart Association staff on the 2016
campaign that I wanted to keep it
going strong! This role gives me a
wonderful opportunity to positively
impact the lives of the people in my
community while working alongside
the amazing, dedicated executives
on my leadership team and the
American Heart Association team.
4. What does heart disease look
like in your family as well as
My grandfather suffered for 5
months after a failed quadruple
bypass surgery and my maternal
grandmother and her identical
twin both had a series of strokes
that devastated their quality of life.
Dharshan’s father passed away at 45
years of age from a massive heart
attack. Dharshan and I both want to
make sure that we reduce these risks
in our family and in our community
so other generations don’t have to
see their loved ones go through what
5. Why should women and men
attend the Go Red For Women®
The luncheon is the perfect
event to attend! It is informational.
It is an opportunity to learn. It is
an inspirational event and a time
to reflect on what your “Why” is.
The American Heart Association
says, “Everyone has a reason to live
a healthier, longer life. What’s your
why?.” For me, my “Why” is my
family. This is an ideal event to learn
about heart disease and stroke, hear
local survivor stories, and to think
about your own “Why.”
6. What did you like best about
the past Go Red For Women
Luncheon, besides the fact that
your husband was the chair?
The event was so well attended.
It was wonderful to see so many
inspired women (and men) coming
together to support heart health in
our community. There are some
really incredible survivor stories that
just make you realize taking care
of yourself and your loved ones is
so important every day. The Heart
Association offers great tools for you
to be able to do that.
7. Being a woman executive,
what is the one thing you want
all women to realize about heart
disease for themselves? For
Heart disease is more prevalent in
women than you probably realize and
can be prevented! Educate yourself
and your family on prevention, but
also know the symptoms of heart
disease, get regular medical checkups
and have an emergency plan.
8. Does your family discuss your
family health history together?
Our family discusses our health
history, past and present, often. We
do this to examine where we are
currently in terms of health and how
we can be proactive to reduce health
risks. Sometimes we need to tweak
where we are with diet and exercise
and make sure that we are on track.
It helps to reflect as a family and
support each other.
9. Do you have a favorite quote?
“Alone we can do so little;
together we can do so much.”
10. What does biz Win do as a
company to help its employees
learn more about heart disease
We attend American Heart
Association events and other
medical education opportunities as
a company, whenever possible. We
have held lunch and learns, presented
by the American Heart Association,
educating staff on Hands-only CPR®,
stroke, and heart healthy nutrition.
11. What is one thing you would
want everyone to remember
when they think about their
I would encourage anyone,
whether you have been affected by
heart disease or stroke, had a history
of heart disease or stroke in your
family, or none of these, to know
your numbers, get checked, stay
on top of your health, get involved
with your local American Heart
Association and spread the word
GO RED FOR WOMEN® “KNOW
YOUR NUMBERS” TIPS &
Go Red For Women® is a
movement that starts with you. It’s
time for all women to learn the most
critical numbers in their life -- their
hearts depend on it.
1. Understand Risk Factors
There are some you can control
like blood pressure, smoking,
cholesterol, lack of regular physical
activity, and some you can’t control
like age, gender, and family history.
That’s why it is important to
Know Your Numbers, learn your
family history and discuss all
risk factors with your healthcare
2. “Know Your Numbers”
Five numbers can change your
life - Total Cholesterol, HDL (good)
Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood
Sugar and Body Mass Index (BMI).
3. Take Action and Manage Your
Schedule a separate visit with
your healthcare provider to learn
these numbers and commit them
to memory. Work to improve your
numbers, if necessary.
• Cardiovascular Diseases
(CVD) kill nearly 1 in 3 women
• Cardiovascular diseases kill
about one woman every 80
seconds but about 80% of
cardiovascular diseases may be
• Heart disease is the number 1
killer of women, taking more
lives than all forms of cancer
• Almost half of cardiovascular
related deaths are in females.
•About 3. 6 million stroke
survivors alive today are
• Only 17% of women consider
heart disease or stroke to be the
greatest health problem facing
Join us at the Go Red for
Come together to help fight
heart disease and stroke in women.
Hear inspiring stories and learn to
improve your own heart health.
Go Red for Women Luncheon
Wednesday, Feb. 1, 11 a.m.- 1 p.m.
The Lexus Club, KeyBank
Center, 1 Seymour Knox III
Tickets are $100 each. Macy’s
is a national sponsor of Go Red for
Women®. Local sponsors include
biz Win Strategies, Lakeshore Savings
Bank, Buffalo Medical Group, New
York Beef Council, Buffalo Sabres,
Buffalo Spree, WKBW, Entercom
and Buffalo Healthy Living. For
information, visit BuffaloGoRed.
heart.org or call 716.243.4603.
February is a short month, filled with winter activities, school breaks and Valentines. It is also Ameri- can Heart Month, a time to notice what the “face” of heart disease really looks like. A special local
volunteer, Shannon Jayasinghe, supports the Buffalo Niagara American Heart Association. She knows
heart disease and stroke affect mothers (like herself), daughters, sisters and friends. It is the No. 1 killer
of women. It is treatable and preventable.
Heart disease and stroke can happen to any woman. In fact, cardiovascular diseases kill nearly 1 in
3 women each year. Shannon, President of the Healthcare Division of biz Win Strategies, based in Williamsville, NY, is like most moms; they take the kids to play-practice, manage the office, sit on the local
board and take care of loved ones. That woman with heart disease could be the CEO of the household.
Yet there are some women who don’t stop to listen to what their body is telling them. That woman will
shrug off symptoms and signs that she could be having a heart attack or stroke rather than admit something is wrong – just so she can do one more errand or go to one more meeting. That woman may decide
she can address it tomorrow.
But to understand a little further, why knowing more about heart disease and stroke is so important, we
spoke with Shannon, the 2017 chair of the Go Red For Women® Luncheon February 1st at the Lexus Club in Buf-
falo. We asked Shannon to tell us about herself, how she came to the Buffalo Niagara American Heart Association and
why advocating for heart health is so important for her and her family.
February is American Heart Month
A time to understand what the face of heart disease really looks like
Shannon and Dharshan Jayasinghe
Shannon is the 2017 Go
Red for Women Chair