SAINT FRANCIS RENAMES WOMEN’S HEART PROGRAM (Salon Owners Commit $1 Million to ‘Heart of Beauty’ Effort)

( HARTFORD, Conn.) -- The Women's Heart Program at Saint Francis has been renamed The Phillips Women's Heart Program at Saint Francis in recognition of a $1 million/five-year commitment made by Shari and Matthew Phillips, owners of several West Hartford salons. The program will be promoted through a series of events entitled the "Heart of Beauty." The first event was a Cut-A-Thon for Saint Francis employees held today inside the Gengras Auditorium at Saint Francis. Haircuts were given by Matthew and Shari Phillips and other locally acclaimed salon hairdressers at a cost of only $20.00.

"Heart disease is the number one killer of women. It is so important that women be educated about this deadly disease,"; said Shari Phillips. "Our initial goal is to raise $200,000 this year to support this important program through hair-cutting, a fashion show, and other fundraising initiatives."

Mr. and Mrs. Phillips are the owners of the Per Se Salonspa, in West Hartford's Blue Back Square, and the Matthew Phillips Salon, on LaSalle Road in West Hartford. Early fundraising events will include a cocktail reception, a fashion show, a cut-a-thon and other initiatives.

Established in 2006, today The Phillips Women's Heart Program at Saint Francis is free to all women age 18 and older. It is designed to help women take a proactive approach to heart disease through awareness, education and risk factor modification. A woman joining the program will undergo a comprehensive evaluation of individual cardiac risk factors, followed by a guided nutritional plan and exercise prescription. Programs are offered at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center and throughout Connecticut. Interested women should call 860-7 14-6389.

"Since the inception of this program three years ago, we have helped women identify their risk factors through this comprehensive and free analysis. Empowered with knowledge of their individual risks, women can prevent heart disease and that is the goal of this program," said Anita M. Kelsey, M.D., Medical Director.

The program currently has more than 4,000 members.

The Phillips Women's Heart Program is a component of the Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut, established in 1991 as the first comprehensive heart institute in Southern New England. Based at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, the Institute offers a complete range of diagnostic, interventional and prevention services.

Founded in 1897, Saint Francis is a major teaching hospital licensed for 617 acute inpatient beds and 65 bassinets. It is the largest Catholic hospital in New England.