Statement from WomenHeart Board of Directors

The Board of Directors sent the following message to the WomenHeart community today:

WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease has been reflecting deeply in recent days as we have witnessed the devastating impact of racism and structural inequalities in the United States. In recent months we have seen the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on low income families and communities of color–magnifying on-going health disparities, particularly in the Black community. This is compounded by the equally sobering and deep-rooted issue of the unacceptable loss of Black lives, highlighting persistent discrimination and injustice that overwhelmingly impact the Black community.

One in four deaths of women in this country are due to heart disease, and Black and Native American women are disproportionately represented in these grim statistics. These disparities are exacerbated by limited or no access to health care and other social and economic factors. WomenHeart’s mission is to improve the health and quality of life for women living with or at risk of heart disease, and to advocate for their benefit. We are committed to living our values of empowerment, equality and inclusiveness—ensuring that we address the unequal impact of heart disease, not only on women, but on the populations of women most affected.

WomenHeart will continue its ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the disproportionate impact of heart disease on women of color, in particular Black maternal mortality, and to advocate for policies that address inequities in access to health care and health outcomes, which often fall hardest on communities of color. We are committed to implementing internal policies and practices that promote equity and are responsive to the needs of diverse communities and to ensuring inclusion of diverse representation among staff and volunteers, including board members and WomenHeart Champions. We are also committed to taking new steps to reach communities that are most in need of heart disease support, education and advocacy, all with a lens toward race, ethnicity and gender that recognizes and addresses the root causes of health inequities.

We cannot do this alone and look forward to partnerships to bolster these efforts.

Onward together,

Celina Gorre, CEO
Gayathri Badrinath, Board Chair
Barbara Tombros, Immediate Past Chair
Kathy Webster, Treasurer
Debra Gee, Secretary
Paige Bingham, Board Member
Donna Winburn, Board Member
Phyllis Blaunstein, Board Member
Shaon Berry, Board Member
Marie Warshauer, Board Member

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