How does WomenHeart provide support?
WomenHeart Support Networks provide peer-to-peer, patient support for women living with heart disease by another female heart disease patient who has been trained to provide patient support. Support for a woman with heart disease is crucial to her recovery and wellbeing. WomenHeart Support Networks meet monthly and provide education with an emphasis on secondary prevention, as well as psychological and emotional support for female patients as they face their journey living with heart disease. WomenHeart Support Networks are generally affiliated with a hospital, cardiac clinic, or cardiac rehab program. Currently, there are 110 WomenHeart Support Networks in 37 states. It is WomenHeart’s ultimate goal to have multiple WomenHeart Support Networks in every state!
Who are WomenHeart Support Network Coordinators?
All WomenHeart Support Network Coordinators have been trained at WomenHeart’s annual Science & Leadership Symposium at Mayo Clinic and receive continuing education throughout the year via webinars and in-person training. WomenHeart Support Network Coordinators also have a curriculum of educational program modules on various heart-related topics that are used as discussion topics for WomenHeart Support Network monthly meetings. Developed in collaboration with the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, each module includes a facilitator’s guide, a short DVD presentation by an expert in the field, and a handout for participants.
Why is support so important?
Support makes a difference. A recent survey of patients who participate in WomenHeart Support Network meetings indicated that:
• 93% felt their quality of life was enhanced.
• 85% have improved their ability to communicate with their health care provider.
• 93% have increased their understanding of heart disease.
• 85% believe that attending meetings has helped them cope with challenges in maintaining their treatment/medication regimen.
• 86% believe attending meetings has helped them better communicate and explain their heart disease with family members, friends, co-workers, etc.
• 85% report improved treatment compliance and adherence.
• 78% helped them make or maintain diet/nutrition lifestyle changes.