WomenHeart was founded out of passion – three women’s desire to support other women with heart disease and to create change. They wanted address gender disparities in health outcomes and sexism and bias in cardiac care. That vision continues today through the work of our Champions.
In particular, many Champions are eager to use their voice to connect with lawmakers and to affect policy change. In addition to the work they do in their communities to support and educate other women, many Champions are advocates who call their elected officials when they have something to say, they respond to WomenHeart’s calls to action and send emails to their members of Congress, they write letters to the editor of their local newspaper, and they speak at community forums – all in service of women like themselves who have heart disease or at risk and deserve respect, equality, and quality care.
And they’re making a difference! Last month, several Champions went to the Hill the day after the Wenger Awards to meet with their lawmakers. Michigan Champions Judy Nash and Connie Newlon met with Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and she agreed that day to sign on in support of the MOMMA’s Act, a bill that recognizes the threat of heart disease in pregnancy.
In February, Champion Amanda DeRosa came to Washington to speak at a Hill briefing hosted by WomenHeart and to meet with her lawmakers about the importance of women’s inclusion in cardiac research. She shared her own experience of participating in medical research. And just this week, Champion Tammy Hardin wrote a letter to her North Carolina senator that was presented to his office in a meeting by other advocates. She shared her heart story and wrote about the importance of receiving health insurance under the Affordable Care Act right before undergoing open heart surgery.
These are just a few of the many examples of Champions using the power of their voice to make a difference in the lives of women. If you’re interested in doing more, please reach out to WomenHeart staff to learn about opportunities for engagement and to receive tools and support to help you make a difference.