“My cardiologist saved my heart; WomenHeart saved my life.” This is a refrain we hear often from WomenHeart Champions, and as a Champion myself since 2014, it surely applies to my experience. And it is the passion that will fuel my leadership of this organization for the next two years as Chair of the Board of Directors.
I have led a support group in Pennsylvania for five years and have seen the amazing gift WomenHeart offers women with heart disease, sometimes in their darkest and most fearful hours. All women deserve access to this invaluable gift that we deliver. That’s why I have a vision of expanded reach and growth for the organization. I’d like to see our numbers grow so that WomenHeart has a presence in all fifty states. This includes expanding our Virtual Support Groups to include more time and date options, accessible for women across the country. In addition, it includes launching a new app so all women who are diagnosed with heart disease can match with a heart sister for information and support.
There are also many opportunities to grow our advocacy work. Our new Advocacy Corps initiative will train and engage Champions at a deeper level to advocate – not only for themselves – but for policies that will uplift all women living with and at risk of heart disease. These include access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance, a reduction in health disparities for women of color, address the rising maternal mortality rate and the link to heart disease, and women’s inclusion in research and clinical trials.
I am eager to share the work of WomenHeart with all our stakeholders, and I especially look forward to that at the annual Wenger Awards in Washington, DC. Tickets are now on sale and it promises to be a night filled with celebration of those who are making a difference for women and heart disease.
WomenHeart is driven by a passion for patients – lifting up Champion stories, empowering women to take control of their heart health and fighting for health equity. It’s because of the work of WomenHeart Champions that we recently celebrated our 20th anniversary. It is an honor to lead the WomenHeart Board at this time, as we enter a new decade and look to a future that is filled with innovation and growth, but always with the unfailing goals of supporting, educating and advocating for women living with and at risk of heart disease.