After Krishna Dholakia’s grandfather died of a heart attack and her father underwent triple bypass surgery, she knew she wanted to work in preventive health care.
Dholakia, 28, of Smithtown, is a registered dietitian and personal health coach at EHE International, a preventive health care center that provides heart screenings, stress tests, mammograms and coaching for its patients.
This month, Dholakia, above, participated in the Red Dress Campaign, a 30-day event in which employees of EHE International help spread awareness of the importance of everyday habits like diet and exercise for cardiovascular disease in women.
“I have a family history of heart disease because my grandpa died of a heart attack and my dad had triple bypass surgery,” Dholakia said. “I’m very passionate about disease prevention. That’s why I got involved in the health field.”
As part of the Red Dress Campaign, Dholakia joined more than 30 EHE employees from all over the country at the New York Palace Hotel in October for a makeover by MAC and a photo shoot. The employees were also interviewed for a video about how cardiovascular disease has affected their lives. The photos and video were shown to the public Feb. 1 to kick off the campaign.
“To dress up and look pretty for a good cause was a lot of fun,” Dholakia said. “The job I do all year round is help my patients reduce their risk of preventative diseases and this campaign is like the pinnacle point for me.”
Throughout February, EHE employees put up informative window displays about preventable diseases in the EHE headquarters, in Rockefeller Plaza.
In one of the displays, Dholakia wears a strapless, satin red dress from Lord & Taylor and is joined by 39 men and women all in red in a poster-sized photo. EHE uses the large photo to attract people to its table set up in New York City and learn more.
The Red Dress Campaign began in 2006 and originally only included the president of EHE and a few doctors. In 2007, the campaign soon opened up to all female EHE employees. This year was the first time men were invited to join the event, said Deana Rolli, manager for the office of the president of EHE International.
“We thought it would be more exciting to have the men involved because heart disease affects them too,” Rolli said.
After the campaign is over, Dholakia will continue giving advice to patients about how to prevent heart disease.
“Tell people around you who you love to get a physical,” Dholakia said. “Find ways to motivate yourself, involve your community and start raising awareness.”