Skip to main content

Go Red for Women: American Heart Association Honors Assistant Professor Regina Welkie

by Janelle Hill Jun 30, 2020
Go Red for Women:
 Regina Welkie, MSPAS, PA-C

Regina Welkie was 34 years old when a diagnosis changed her life. 

After experiencing heart palpitations and trouble breathing while working out, the assistant professor and clinical coordinator in the Physician Assistant Program learned she has arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), a genetic condition in which her normal heart muscle is replaced by scar tissue.

Welkie’s diagnosis led to a passion for heart health, and she was recently one of 12 women honored in this year’s American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Campaign and at the Lehigh Valley’s virtual Go Red luncheon.

“I support the American Heart Association because I believe it’s important to be an advocate for women’s health, particularly their heart health,” Welkie ’02, M’03 said. “It’s important for women to understand the signs and symptoms of heart disease and to know when they should seek help.”  

Being an avid runner and cyclist, Welkie’s diagnosis came as a shock. With endurance exercises no longer an option, she traded those workouts for lower impact activities, like yoga and walking. 

“I’ve learned to slow down and really appreciate life a little bit more. I’ve definitely changed my perspective. I feel like I’m even healthier now than I was five years ago.” 

The DeSales PA Program served as a sponsor for this year’s luncheon, which aims to prevent heart disease and stroke by promoting healthy lifestyles, building awareness, and raising critically needed funds to support research and education initiatives.