Before we breathe a deep sigh of relief as we put 2020 behind us, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on this year for the WomenHeart family – a year marked by adversity and redeemed by resilience and grace.
I don’t want to mince words – for far too many of us, 2020 has been traumatic.
Like so many organizations, WomenHeart had to make the painful decision to stop business as usual, assess what we could control and determine what was essential for our community to continue to get the support that they needed, now more than ever. We had to ask some hard questions. How do we achieve our mission without our typical activities? How do we deliver support and educate women about their heart disease and COVID-19? What public policies are needed to support women with heart disease during this time? How will we cope with an uncertain economy with no end in sight? And we had to bring our stakeholders along on this journey.
This pause to regroup gave way to resilience in action – a flurry of activities, with staff and WomenHeart Champions working together to make it happen for women with heart disease. We quickly transitioned our support groups to Zoom, launched a new HeartTalks series to stay on top of developments at the intersection of heart disease and COVID-19, supported legislation that offered relief to those most at risk from COVID-19 and shifted preparation for our annual Science & Leadership Symposium training and Wenger Awards. It was an all-out effort to minimize disruption and maximize support. Your encouragement, funding and support made it clear that we were on the right path. And it has become clear that these efforts are not just a short-term fix to a temporary problem, but rather a launching pad into the future of WomenHeart – to a structurally resilient organization, able to adapt and deliver on the promise of its mission in an evolving world.
As we take a moment to celebrate this holiday season, perhaps in less-than-ideal circumstances, I find myself reflecting on the power of grace that is needed in times of hardship and uncertainty. As demonstrated by WomenHeart Champions time and time again, grace is a gift we must extend to those who have suffered devastation and tragedy, to each other, and to ourselves, when we struggle with new challenges. Getting through the messiness, the imperfections of 2020 with grace has made WomenHeart that much stronger.
A special thank you this year to the WomenHeart family for your confidence through this most difficult of years, for your continued financial support as we close out 2020, and for your encouragement to carry on as we enter 2021 with a promising outlook. Here’s to a brighter future full of possibilities.