January 2019 Newsletter


Dear Communications,

I’m delighted to be writing to you as the newly elected Board Chair of WomenHeart and share that Jerri Anne Johnson has been elected as Chair-Elect, and Gayathri Badrinath as Vice Chair.  Jerri Anne and I both had long careers in the health industry, and believe we provide a diverse set of skills which makes us a strong team. Gayathri’s background is complimentary as it encompasses both healthcare and technology.

Even prior to engaging with WomenHeart in 2004, I dedicated my career to elevating the patient voice. Jerri Anne, while more clinically focused, concentrated her efforts on issues related to risk factors associated with pregnancy.

As we enter 2019, WomenHeart approaches its 20th anniversary, grateful and humbled by what we have accomplished.  In 2018 our WomenHeart Championshosted more than 400 community education events, provided nearly 5,500 hours of support network services, and made more than 1,300 visits to women in hospitals and cardiac rehabilitation programs.  Through our community events, WomenHeart@Work presentations, Support Networks, etc., we touched over 100,000 women and men interested in women and heart disease. Read more from WomenHeart Board Chair Barbara Tombros.

Best regards,

Barbara Tombros

Get Ready for Heart Month!

Join WomenHeart this Feb. for Heart Month—and help us celebrate 20 years of leading the charge to support, educate, and advocate on behalf of women living with or at risk of heart disease. As we gear up for an exciting Feb., we also want to tell you about two exciting campaigns you don’t want to miss:

  • #29DaysofHeart: This is the fifth annual social media campaign focusing on raising awareness about heart disease and African-American women as part of both Black History Month and Heart Month. It kicks off tomorrow, Jan. 31.
  • The #HappyHeart campaign is a fun way to educate people about heart disease risk factors, while inspiring women to become physically active. Throughout the month, participants are encouraged to share on social media a short video clip of them doing their favorite activity (sports, yoga, gardening, playing with grandchildren, meditating, etc.) with a caption of why it can lead to a #HappyHeart.


Want to get involved? Download our Heart Month toolkit which outlines all of WomenHeart’s planned activities. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Look for WomenHeart on the Small Screen

As part of Heart Month, WomenHeart is launching a public service announcement (PSA) about heart disease and atrial fibrillation (AFib). The PSA, supported by an educational grant from the Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Pfizer Alliance, features some of our WomenHeart Champions and will air on television stations across the country and will be available on our YouTube channel later this month. Be sure to check it out.

Your Guide to Appealing Health Insurance Denials

Have you been denied an insurance claim? If so, you’re not alone—many women with chronic health conditions like heart disease encounter this barrier to care. Join us Feb. 7 at 12:30 p.m. EST for a Facebook Live discussion about the common reasons medication or treatment is denied, how a letter of medical necessity can be beneficial, and tips on how to advocate for yourself when treatment is denied. The Facebook Live, sponsored by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sanofi/Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., will feature cardiologist Rachel Bond, M.D., Patient Advocate Foundation Clinical Initiatives Director Pat Jolley, and WomenHeart Champion Agnes Czuchlewski. We look forward to answering your questions.

Heart Valve Awareness Day

Feb. 22 marks National Heart Valve Awareness Day. As part of American Heart Month, WomenHeart is partnering with the National Alliance for Aging Research to raise awareness about heart valve disease by sharing social media graphics and hosting a patient-centered Facebook Live event from Morristown Medical Center. The hospital will also be opening its new women’s health center dedicated to women living with heart disease Feb. 22. Use the hashtag #valvediseaseday to join the conversation.

Champion Spotlight: Empowering Women

While the heart disease facts and statistics are essential to Heart Month, there is, perhaps, nothing more powerful than the personal stories of women who have lived with—and conquered—heart disease, and the roles these women play in spreading heart health awareness.

Illinois native Marie Warshauer knows the role she plays is significant. Back in 2002, as a member of the inaugural class of WomenHeart Champions, she made it her mission to help other women know the signs and symptoms of heart disease.
“It’s important to know your family history—both my father and grandfather had heart disease,” says Marie. “Women have to listen to themselves, take care of themselves.” That’s something Marie has learned to do after being diagnosed with coronary artery disease in 2002. “I began experiencing the symptoms in 2001, but didn’t know it. My energy was low and I started having radiating numbness in my arms.” Read more of Marie’s story and her unique connection to WomenHeart.

Amy’s Advocacy Corner

The start of the year ushered a new Congress into session and, unfortunately, an ongoing partial government shutdown. Nevertheless, WomenHeart has been busy preparing for the upcoming year and setting our policy priorities. We met with leaders at NIH to learn about their latest research on heart disease and their funding needs for the coming year. We are busy planning activities to engage lawmakers throughout Heart Month, including a briefing for members of Congress on women with heart disease in clinical trials. We supported the introduction of a bill to designate a Women’s Health Research Day. And, we will be releasing our Federal Policy Agenda next month.

Now is a great time for you to reach out to your senators and representatives, whether they are new to Congress or an experienced lawmaker. Let them know your heart story and why fighting for the needs of women with heart disease should be one of their priorities. We’ve made it easy for you to take action here.

Heart Disease News

  A Matter of the Heart

Don’t Forget the Berries

Need a breakfast boost? A delicious bowl of blueberry-almond oatmeal may be just what you need to start the day. Originally shared on the Food Network Kitchen, this oatmeal recipe is rich with heart health antioxidants—fresh blueberries and honey—and is filled with almonds, a healthy source of protein. Next time you’re in the mood for some oatmeal, put down that instant pack and try this homemade version instead.
Contact us if you’d like to share your stories or have a new story idea for us.
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