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WomenHeart Champions of the Month: January 2015
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Judy Balkansky and Sue Prince

This month, we recognize the contributions of two dedicated Support Network co-Coordinators, Judy Balkansky (WomenHeart Champion Class of 2003) and Sue Prince (Class of 2007). 

The Villages Support NetworkJudy and Sue teamed to lead a support network in The Villages, Florida. Judy relocated to Florida, after having run a successful network in Wisconsin for 11 years. 

With Judy's background as a social worker and Sue's experience as a registered nurse, the two find that their strengths complement each other as co-Coordinators.

Their support group had four members at first, but at their recent meeting at the end of 2014, after being featured in their local newspaper, The Villages Daily Sun, more than 40 attendees showed up!

Besides the newspaper mentions, Judy and Sue network to promote the meetings. For example, Sue volunteers at a hospital, and is gratified that her work allows her to "meet and help a lot of wonderful women with heart disease."  Her work has helped her build relationships with the cardiologists and staff. One cardiologist distributes flyers about the meetings to his patients.

Judy and Sue emphasize that it's important to ask attendees about their preferences and the kinds of topics they would like to discuss at support meetings. The co-Coordinators plan to feature a dietician at the January meeting and a presentation by a cardiologist at the February meeting.

Judy says the best part of being a WomenHeart Champion are the friendships she forms with other women who are living with heart disease.  She says she feel good "knowing that I'm helping somebody."

Thanks, Judy and Sue, for your commitment! Congratulations on your achievements!

Photo credit: Bill Mitchell, The Villages Daily Sun


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WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) patient advocacy organization with thousands of members nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, health care providers, advocates and consumers committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives. WomenHeart supports, educates and advocates on behalf of the nearly 48 million American women living with or at risk of heart disease. Our programs are made possible by donations, grants and corporate partnerships.

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