By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

0210-Feature-Red Dress Awards_Blog

Kathy Magliato, M.D., broke into the elite, male-dominated world of heart surgery fueled by a passion for saving lives – a passion she parlayed into urging women to take better care of their hearts. Her life even inspired a new NBC show premiering next month.

02-09-16 Nancy Hoda Kathy 2016 Red Dress Awards

Nancy Brown, Hoda Kotb and Dr. Kathy Magliato.

On Tuesday night in New York City, Magliato was among the handful of doctors, researchers and advocates honored with a Red Dress Award for contributions in the fight against heart disease in women.

“Heart disease is an indiscriminate killer,” Magliato told American Heart Association News before the ceremony. “It kills women of all ages, race and body type. It is an enemy that all women face every day of their lives and yet many women do not know or appreciate the epidemic that heart disease is among women.”

The Red Dress Awards, held annually by Woman’s Day and now in its 13th year, was hosted by Today show co-anchor Hoda Kotb.

Magliato is a cardiothoracic surgeon, wife and mother. NBC adapted her book, Heart Matters: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon, into the television series Heartbeat, which premieres March 23.

02-08-16 Surgeon General Dr Paula Johnson 2016 Red Dress Awards

Drs. Vivek Murthy and Paula Johnson

“Be good to the heart you were given. You only get one in a lifetime,” said Magliato, director of women’s cardiac services at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, and past president of the AHA’s greater Los Angeles board.

02-09-16 Jennie Garth 2016 Red Dress Awards

Jennie Garth

At the ceremony, AHA CEO Nancy Brown said, “Tonight we recognize Kathy for her immense talent and precision as a surgeon, for her unwavering dedication to her patients, for her important contributions to the advancement of cardiovascular science, and for always remembering that at the end of the day, it’s our hearts that matter most.”

02-09-16 Craig Lewis Band 2016 Red Dress Awards

The Craig Lewis Band

Red Dress Awards also went to U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D.; Sam Kass, former executive director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative and former senior policy advisor for nutrition policy; and cardiologist Paula Johnson, M.D., chief of the women’s health division at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and founder and executive director of the hospital’s Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology.

Woman’s Day presented the CocaoVia Healthy Heart Award to Joanne Lupton, Ph.D., a distinguished professor emeritus at Texas A&M University, for her leadership in studying how nutrition can help prevent heart disease.

The event also honored five women who participated in the Woman’s Day Live Longer & Stronger Challenge and lost a combined 240 pounds in eight months.

The Red Dress Awards ceremony benefits the AHA’s Go Red For Women.

Top photo courtesy of Kathy Magliato; red carpet photos by Diane Bondareff/Invision.