Women in the entertainment industry joined in on a discussion Thursday on how best to promote a culture of heart health for women.

At the luncheon — hosted by the American Heart Association and Variety magazine in Los Angeles — CEO Nancy Brown shared the key successes of the Go Red For Women program, emphasizing the need for the entertainment industry to help spread the word that women are at risk for heart disease, their No. 1 killer.

She asked the group, “How can the entertainment industry lead the way in prioritizing heart health?”

Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, publisher of Variety magazine, explained her connection to heart disease and Variety’s involvement with the AHA’s Go Red For Women program.

Luncheon attendee Sheila Wenzel, a heart attack survivor and talent agent at Innovative Artists in Hollywood, credited the Go Red For Women short film, “Just a Little Heart Attack,” for saving her life by helping her identify the signs of her own heart attack. A Go Red volunteer, Wenzel hopes to leverage her entertainment industry relationships to share lifesaving messages with other women.

The group, which included more than 20 women from film, TV, publishing, production houses and talent agencies, discussed several topics, including:

  • How to fill the knowledge gap — one in five women remain unaware that heart disease is their greatest health risk.
  • The need for equitable care for women.
  • The accurate depiction of heart disease and heart events in film and television.
  • How the entertainment industry can promote heart disease prevention.

The AHA will use the insights shared at the luncheon to extend the reach of its Go Red For Women program.

“The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women program will continue to tap into the resources of the entertainment industry – the world’s foremost storytellers – to establish women’s heart disease as the priority issue of Hollywood’s most powerful women,” Brown said. “As gatekeepers to the largest media companies and platforms around the globe, women in entertainment are poised to elevate Go Red For Women to new heights.”