WomenHeart is currently looking for dynamic, driven women living with heart disease to apply to become WomenHeart Champions at the 2023 Virtual WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium. This is the nation’s only volunteer program that trains women with heart disease to serve as educators, advocates, and support for women living with heart disease.
Watch this video to learn more about being a WomenHeart Champion and how to apply.
About the Science & Leadership Symposium
Since 2002, the nationally renowned WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium has brought together over 1,000 women living with heart disease. During this training, women gain skills and education to become volunteer leaders, community educators, national spokeswomen, patient advocates, and support network leaders to empower women to take charge of their own health. WomenHeart selects women heart patients each year, through a comprehensive and competitive application process. While this prestigious 3-day educational symposium is typically held in the fall on-site at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, one of the nation’s leading women’s heart institutions, this year we are ALSO offering a virtual course in the spring led by those same Mayo Clinic faculty.
WomenHeart Champions are trained on the science of heart disease, how to share their story and message effectively, and how to become powerful patient advocates. They are also equipped with skills in leading support groups, presenting heart disease education, and engaging communities through outreach, such as local media, community health fairs, or other local events. All participants will receive training in the following areas:
- One-to-one and group peer support
- Support group management and engagement
- Community education and outreach
- Public speaking
The WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium training will help you develop an action plan for the work you do in your community. WomenHeart will also provide you with resources to aid you along the way.
This year’s virtual symposium will kick off on April 3, 2023. Attendees will be expected to complete all the courses on their own time over a three-week period, by April 21, 2023. During that time, there will be some live online classes and discussion, and attendees will have opportunities to interact and engage with the faculty.
Eligibility to Apply
Women interested in applying must meet the following criteria:
- Woman, or person identifying as a woman, currently living with or have previously been diagnosed with heart disease
- At least 6 months post most recent cardiovascular event (e.g., surgery, heart attack)
- Women who are emotionally and physically ready to serve as a women’s heart health advocate
All applications must be submitted electronically, using the online application form. In order to complete the application, you will be required to list two personal references who must each complete a recommendation form. Personal references will be sent the required recommendation form to the email address listed by the applicant. Here is a copy of the application questions if you would like to review them before submitting your answers online.
Deadline to apply: All applications are due no later than March 10, 2023.
Applicants who advance will be invited to participate in an interview over Zoom, to be held in February or early March.
The virtual Symposium is free for all those who are accepted.
The Symposium curriculum and schedule are challenging and may bring up strong emotions related to your heart disease diagnosis. In order to benefit from this immersive educational program, we recommend that all attendees are in good physical and mental health.
We encourage you to complete an anonymous Mental Health Screening utilizing the Depression and Anxiety Screening Tools to assess if you are mentally ready to provide peer support to women diagnosed with heart disease. While the results are anonymous, we recommend you consider your results prior to submitting your application:
- If either your Depression or Anxiety Test score is 10 or higher we recommend having a discussion with a member of your health care team as to their recommendations for managing your symptoms and advice regarding whether you should defer participation until your symptoms are improved.
- If on the Depression Test you indicated any response other than “Not at all” on Questions #9 or responded “Very” or “Extremely” difficult on Question #10, we recommend you discuss these results with your health care team and defer your participation until your symptoms are improved.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.