WomenHeart to Host First National Policy & Science Summit on Women's Cardiovascular Health

Commentary about the history of the women's heart health movement and Summit published in the September/October journal Women's Health Issues

Aug 19, 2015, 09:56 ET from WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease today announced that it will host the first National Policy & Science Summit on Women's Cardiovascular Health, October 26-27, 2015 in Washington, DC. The event is presented in a commentary, Taking a Giant Step Toward Women's Heart Health: Finding Policy Solutions to Unanswered Research Questions, which is a history of the 30 year women's heart health movement, and is published in the September/October issue of Women's Health Issues, the official journal of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University (http://www.whijournal.com/article/S1049-3867(15)00103-6/fulltext)

Based on the historical overview in the commentary, the National Policy & Science Summit on Women's Cardiovascular Health is a significant and timely next step in the national effort to eradicate heart disease as the leading cause of death in women.

"The Summit is a game changer for the field of women's cardiovascular health," said Mary E. McGowan, CEO of WomenHeart. "Leaders in this field and patients are meeting to address the lack of sufficient policy, programs and funding for a disease that continues to debilitate and kill more women than all cancers combined. The Summit committee and participants are dedicated to making policy and scientific recommendations that will end the disparities in early and accurate diagnosis and proper treatment for women with heart disease," she continued.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women and more women than men have died from cardiovascular disease each year since 1984. In the commentary, Taking a Giant Step Toward Women's Heart Health: Finding Policy Solutions to Unanswered Research Questions, the authors provide the 30 year history of the women's heart health movement, which highlights the fact that while women's cardiovascular disease has been on the medical landscape for nearly 30 years, it was not until this century that significant federal funding was allocated to build awareness and promote prevention. However, due to the underrepresentation of women in clinical trials and insufficient funding for women specific research regarding medications, medical devices, and procedures for women with heart disease, progress in diagnosis and treatment has been slow.

"Our past efforts described in the commentary have shown the progress we have made, but we clearly have further to go - both in research needs and policy changes to promote women's heart health," said co-author Susan F. Wood, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Director, Jacobs Institute of Women's Health, The George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health.

"Despite many advances, heart disease remains the number one cause of death in women," said commentary authors. "There continues to be a lack of specific attention on sex and gender differences in research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment in both our public health strategies and healthcare systems. Change is clearly needed in our approach to addressing these high priorities if we are to effectively reduce the burden of heart disease in women," they said.

The Summit, the first of its kind, will bring together leaders in the field of women's cardiovascular disease, patient advocates and others who will critically evaluate the state of women's heart health and identify policy steps needed to ensure the establishment of a woman-centered approach to heart health through the development of solutions to the scientific questions posed for Summit participants.

"Improving women's heart health can improve the health of families and the broader community. As the nation moves from a focus on sick care and disease to wellness and prevention, decreasing heart disease morbidity and mortality and ensuring that women with heart disease can thrive is critical and is within our reach," said the commentary authors.

Participation in the National Policy & Science Summit on Women's Cardiovascular Health is by invitation only. If you are interested in attending, please contact Susan Campbell, Vice President, Public Policy, WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease at scampbell@womenheart.org.

A schedule of leaders available for interviews and sessions for media coverage during the Summit will be released October 20. Please visit www.womenheart.org for more information that day or contact Lisa Clough to register to attend to schedule an interview.

Taking a Giant Step Toward Women's Heart Health: Finding Policy Solutions to Unanswered Research Questions commentary authors include: Susan Campbell, MPH, Vice President, Public Policy, WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease; Sharonne N. Hayes, MD, Professor of Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases and founder of the Women's Heart Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota; Jennifer H. Mieres, MD, Professor of Cardiology and Population Health at North Shore-LIJ Health System; Nanette K. Wenger, MD, Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at the Emory University School of Medicine and Consultant to the Emory Heart and Vascular Center, Atlanta, Georgia; and, Susan F. Wood, PhD, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management and Director of Jacobs Institute of Women's Health at the George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health.

WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is the nation's only patient centered organization serving the 43 million American women living with or at risk for heart disease – the leading cause of death for women. WomenHeart is solely devoted to advancing women's heart health through advocacy, community education, and the nation's only patient support network for women living with heart disease. WomenHeart is both a coalition and a community of thousands of members nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, healthcare professionals, and health advocates, all committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives. To join or donate, visit www.womenheart.org.

Women's Health Issues is the official journal of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health, which is based at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.

The National Policy & Science Summit on Women's Cardiovascular Health is sponsored by Gold Sponsor – Novartis Pharmaceuticals; Silver Sponsors – Sanofi, Janssen and Lilly.

 

 

SOURCE WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease



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