On May 21, 2014, a group of WomenHeart Champions visited Capitol Hill to speak with their Congressional representatives about women’s heart disease and the importance of supporting funding for clinical trials that include women and increasing funding for heart disease research. These personal visits are a critical part of raising awareness in the legislative community and can often help foster partnerships back in that legislator’s home district to help raise awareness about women’s heart disease.
During the course of over a dozen meetings, WomenHeart Champions were able to discuss holding health fairs in conjunction with district offices and establish contacts for possible creation of new Support Networks within their states. A common theme throughout these visits is the universality of women’s heart disease – almost everyone had a personal story to relate – as well as the need for more education, as there is always someone who is surprised to find out that heart disease is the number one killer of women.
While WomenHeart Champion Lynne Wade was on a visit to the office of Senator Elizabeth Warren, the senator shared the powerful story of her own mother’s sudden death from undiagnosed coronary artery disease while she was actually in the hospital for unrelated routine surgery. At another visit, Senator Heidi Heitkamp spoke with WomenHeart Champion Rayette Brown about how to expand WomenHeart Support Networks throughout her home state of North Dakota. Making these personal connections can make a difference in so many ways, whether it is sponsoring health fairs at the local shopping center or increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health and other institutions, so be sure to make your own voice heard and contact your own Senators and Representatives – your heart story really could help save lives. Click here to learn more about how you can help shape public policy.