WASHINGTON, May 26, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease announced today a generous donation of $1.16 million from the national off-price retailer Burlington Stores and its customers which will advance its mission of providing vital free education and support services to women living with or at risk for heart disease – the nation's leading cause of death in women. Since February 2012, Burlington and its customers have donated more than $4 million to WomenHeart, the nation's first and still only patient centered organization devoted to advancing women's heart health. The four year partnership has resulted in the significant expansion of education, awareness and free patient support services nationwide for women living with or at risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death in women.
As in years past, Burlington customers nationwide had the opportunity to donate $1 or more at check-out for WomenHeart to continue its life-saving work to educate and support women living with heart disease in communities throughout the country. Burlington also donated $1 for each dress purchased, up to $25,000, to support WomenHeart's mission.
Additionally, this year, WomenHeart and Burlington established The Heart of Fitness Tour - a free fitness and health screening event held at 10 select Burlington locations throughout the month of February, American Heart Health Awareness Month. The Tour offered a complimentary fitness class, heart health screening, provided heart health educational materials and hosted WomenHeart Champions - women heart disease survivors who helped to raise awareness of heart disease as the leading cause of death in women and empowered women to take charge of their heart health.
"We sincerely appreciate the commitment of Burlington and their customers to women's heart health, and for making the program possible again this year," said Mary McGowan, Chief Executive Officer of WomenHeart. "There is an urgent need to educate all women about their risk factors and to encourage them to make healthy lifestyle changes, and especially those most at risk. We know that women throughout the country also appreciate Burlington's efforts to provide these free health screening so that they can become better educated and take control of their heart health."
The heart health screenings, as part of the Heart of Fitness Tour, revealed that more than two thirds of women screened had a Body Mass Index of 24.9, an indicator that they are at increased risk for heart disease. The vast majority of screening participants were Latina, a population already identified at higher risk for heart disease. This finding is consistent with research that indicates that 70% of Latinas have at least one risk factor for heart disease, and only 37% of Latinas recognize heart disease as their leading health threat. The heart health screenings, consisting of blood pressure screening, waist circumference measurement, and risk factor questionnaire, also quickly made customers aware of their risks for cardiovascular disease and they were provided with important life-saving educational information so they could act quickly to take charge of their heart health.
"Burlington, with the help from our generous customers, was pleased to support our fourth annual partnership with WomenHeart," said Tom Kingsbury, chairman and CEO of Burlington Stores. "We are pleased to have been able to further help educate women about the importance of their heart health, as heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. This year, we were also excited to have launched the Heart of Fitness Tour, providing valuable basic exercise tips to customers nationwide in an effort to help reduce their risk of heart disease."
Since 2012, funds raised from Burlington Stores has enabled WomenHeart to:
- launch its Spanish language outreach program – Para la Mujer Hispana – which focuses on reaching Latinas – a population at increased risk for heart disease – with vital heart health messages
- launch a Spanish language website on www.womenheart.org
- create a Spanish Red Bag of Courage (educational program) with a distribution of 30,000
- distribute 75,000 red dress pins – the nationally recognized symbol of women and heart health – with messaging in Spanish
- distribute 1 million Spanish language bookmarks with signs and symptoms of heart attack
- enlist bi-lingual cardiologists to support messaging at Burlington store Red Dress events and in the media
- create Spanish language infographics about women and heart health that are free for download at www.womenheart.org
With the conclusion of the 4th Annual Red Dress Event, WomenHeart looks forward to using funds collected to further expand the translation of heart health information on its website; enhance community outreach to include more Hispanic and African American organizations; increase Red Bag of Courage distribution through these organizations to reach at-risk women; increase the number of Spanish language Support Networks for women living with heart disease, and grow National Hospital Alliance membership to include more hospitals that serve high risk and underserved women.
About WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is the first and still only nation's only patient centered organization serving the 42 million American women living with or at risk for heart disease – the leading cause of death in 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, physicians, and health advocates, all committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives. To receive a free online heart health action kit or to donate, visit www.womenheart.org.
About Burlington Stores
Burlington is a national off-price retailer offering style for less at up to 65 percent off department store prices every day. Departments include ladies' dresses, suits, sportswear, juniors, accessories, menswear, family footwear and children's clothing. It also includes an assortment of furniture and accessories for baby at Baby Depot, home decor and gifts, along with the largest selection of coats in the nation for the entire family. Burlington has 546 stores in 45 States and Puerto Rico. For more, visit www.BurlingtonStores.com.
SOURCE WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease