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Put Your Heart Into This!

By Dateline Staff on February 1, 2016 in University

UC Davis Wears Red Day 2016

Quick Summary

  • Friday’s the day: UC Davis Wears Red Day
  • Battle Heart Disease Fair on Hutchison Field
  • Be part of giant heart formation at noon

Walk through a giant, inflatable heart to see what goes on in there! Learn hands-only CPR! Join a fun Zumba class for a good cardio workout! Pick up information on heart-healthy habits. It’s all part of our third annual UC Davis Wears Red Day, coming up this Friday (Feb. 5).

“Let’s show the world that Aggies stand together in the fight against heart disease,” Vanessa Gertmenian-Wong says in a promotional video made by students and starring students.

We’ll be standing together with our university’s research and outreach, and our School of Medicine and health system. And we’ll be standing together when we gather as many people as possible to form a human heart on Hutchison Field.

Human heart formation

We’ve done the heart formation twice before, both times in the rain. Friday’s forecast is precipitation-free — so, no excuses, come be a part of this inspirational event.  When you hear the Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh, you’ll know it’s time!

“And don’t forget to wear your red!” Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said. “We are making a statement, as a community, for heart-health awareness.” UC Davis Wears Red Day T-shirts are available at all UC Davis Stores; $2 from every pourchase goes to the UC Davis Women's Cardiovascular Medicine Program.

The rest of the day’s events are indoors, under a tent: MEGA Heart exhibit and CPR training, and the Battle Heart Disease Fair, including Zumba.

“Our Number 1 goal is to make sure the UC Davis campus community (students, staff and faculty) becomes more aware that heart disease is a significant health threat in the U.S. and that they have the power to change that fact for themselves,” said Amparo Villablanca, cardiologist who leads the Women's Cardiovascular Medicine Program.

 MEGA Heart inflatable, exterior
Take a walk through the MEGA Heart.

“I also want UC Davis to become even more of a leader in community heart-health education by engaging our campus and the broader communities we serve in heart disease prevention in ways that are appealing, fun and engaging.”

Villablanca collaborated with the chancellor to launch UC Davis Wears Red Day in 2014, aligning the event with National Wear Red Day, which promotes heart health awareness among women. Here at UC Davis, though, we’re reaching out to men, too, and students in particular, who may mistakenly believe they are not at risk. “Heart disease develops over the course of decades, well before symptoms became apparent; so the earlier that healthy habits are adopted, the better,” Villablanca said.

Chancellor Katehi said: “I am so pleased to see so many students involved in UC Davis Wears Red Day. That speaks volumes to the rest of our student community.”

Three student groups are running this year’s Battle Heart Disease Fair, and several other student groups will have tables at the fair. The groups include the Bayanihan, Shifa and Tepati clinics, Minority Association of Premedical Students, Chicanos in Health Education, Student Nutrition Association and American Red Cross Club.

Handouts available at the fair will include “Seven Heart-Healthy Habits of Students,” developed by the UC Davis Wears Red Day planning team in collaboration with the Student Health and Wellness Center, and the Women’s Cardiovascular Medicine Program.

“These are very do-able,” Chancellor Katehi said. “Doing this now can help ensure your heart health into the future."

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or

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