Heart-healthy pork tenderloin recently took center stage with everybody from Star Jones to the U.S. Surgeon General during the star-studded Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards, which honors those who’ve made significant contributions in the fight against heart disease.

“The Red Dress Awards offered an opportunity for the National Pork Board to partner with other credible organizations that promote women’s heart health,” said Julie Maschhoff, vice president of public relations for The Maschhoffs. The Carlyle, Ill., producer and National Pork Board member traveled to New York City for the 2012 event. “Our industry was recognized for pork’s role in a heart-healthy diet.”

Thanks to its extra lean, nutritious profile, pork tenderloin now boasts the Heart-Check mark from the American Heart Association. To celebrate, Registered Dietitian Michelle Dudash created Grilled Orange-Ponzu Pork with Napa Cabbage and Carrot Stir-Fry and Thyme-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Shallot Compote, which were served during the Red Dress Awards.

“Now that the American Heart Association has certified pork tenderloin with the Heart-Check mark, there’s even more reason to cook up this delicious, extra lean protein,” said Dudash, a Cordon Bleu-certified chef who noted that protecting heart health is central to many Americans’ wellness goals. “From its tasty flavor to ease of preparation, I always recommend pork to my clients as a go-to lean protein, because it’s the perfect fit for a healthy lifestyle.”

More than 500 guests attended the Red Dress Awards, which offered a premiere opportunity to reach influential members of the medical community and the media.

“This event was all about heart health, and it brought a lot of visibility to lean pork cuts like tenderloin,” said Laurie Bever, director of consumer advertising for the National Pork Checkoff, which distributed online press kits to the media prior to the Red Dress Awards. Public relations activities also included distribution of an event video and social media postings that helped generate ongoing conversations in the week after the event.