A central element of WomenHeart’s mission is to help develop recommendations, solutions and action steps on critical issues that affect women living with heart disease. We have recently unveiled the Key Opinion Leaders or KOL workshops, a new process to insuring that our materials reflect the most comprehensive, up-to-date and relevant thinking available.
WomenHeart’s Key Opinion Leaders or KOL workshops bring together patients, providers, advocates, and researchers to evaluate findings, evidence and anecdotes on a specific topic. This half day meeting allows participants to learn from professionals and WomenHeart Championsregarding their knowledge about a certain subject of great importance to patients. Armed with examples and facts about current challenges facing women living with heart disease, meeting goers break into small groups to thoroughly discuss issues in need of closer scrutiny and to collaboratively work with one another.
Each of the work groups has a moderator and a scribe. The discussions are guided by an outline which must be completed within the allotted time. The group’s task is to completely reach consensus on the following: issues to address, potential solutions, and recommendations. Following a productive discussion and strategy session, the groups reconvene to report their commendations.
Our first and second KOL workshops focused respectively on heart failure, and cholesterol/familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The recommendations developed by the Key Opinion Leaders were translated into action steps for Congress and advocates, and were quite useful in shaping our policy agenda.
We are pleased with the outcome of our KOL workshops and confident that the process will continue to demonstrate WomenHeart’s expertise and value as an educator, advocate and supporter of women living with heart disease. We look forward to more KOL workshops in the future.
Susan M. Campbell, MPH, is the Vice President of Public Policy at WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease