WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is pleased to announce that 39 women living with heart disease graduated from the fall 2016 WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN to become WomenHeart Champions – a national volunteer corps of nearly 800 women heart disease survivors trained by WomenHeart as community educators, advocates and Support Network Coordinators to lead the fight against heart disease in women. One in three women die from heart disease and 8 million American women are living with this disease. The fall 2016 Science & Leadership Symposium marked the 15th consecutive year that WomenHeart convened this competitive, one-of-a-kind training. WomenHeart hosted a special 15 year anniversary celebration attended by Mayo Clinic leadership, faculty and staff, WomenHeart Champions, Members of the WomenHeart Board of Directors, former Board Members, corporate partners, media and other stakeholders.
"Thanks to our pioneering collaboration with Mayo Clinic and the dedication of our 788 WomenHeart Champions during the past 15 years, the WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium has resulted in strides in the fight against heart disease in women nationwide," said Mary McGowan, Chief Executive Officer, WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease. "We look forward to working closely with our fall 2016 WomenHeart Champions and our National Hospital Alliance member hospitals to continue to increase awareness about heart disease in women on the national stage and to improve patient outcomes," she added.
The fall 2016 WomenHeart Champions, who hail from 20 states, are the newest "boots on the ground" in the fight against heart disease in women. They range from 30 to 80 years in age. 13% are African-American and 6% are Latina or belong to another minority ethnic group. 18 graduated as community educators, and 21 graduated as Support Network Coordinators to lead a monthly peer-led WomenHeart Support Network in their community. WomenHeart's Support Network Coordinator program is the nation's only peer-led support program for women living with heart disease. 15 of the new Support Network Coordinators will lead their Support Network at a hospital that is part of the WomenHeart National Hospital Alliance. Six will coordinate an existing WomenHeart Support Network.
The WomenHeart National Hospital Alliance is a network of progressive hospitals that have a partnership with WomenHeart to advance women's heart health in their community. It was developed by WomenHeart in 2012 to ensure that women heart disease patients in every community have access to information, education and patient support services to be empowered to live a heart healthy life.
The fall 2016 WomenHeart Champions are:
Judith Bannister El Camino Hospital Mountain View, CA
Marilyn Battey University of Kansas Hospital Prairie Village, KS
Phyllis Blaunstein Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute Los Angeles, CA
Kara Burns Muriel I. Kauffman Women's Heart Center at St. Luke Mid-America Heart Institute Olathe, KS
Libby Harbin Colleyville, TX
Gwen Herb Boca Raton Regional Hospital Boca Raton, FL
Jennifer Jacques Columbia Memorial Hospital Astoria, OR
Lorraine Kelley Lakewood, CO
Harriet Meerman Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute Miami, FL
Nina Menard Women and Children's Hospital of Acadiana Lafayette, LA
Linda Miller Grass Valley, CA
Marietta Parker University of Kansas Hospital Kansas City, MO
Brenda Pourciau Women and Children's Hospital of Acadiana Lafayette, LA
Karen Reddick-Little Howard University Hospital Washington, DC
Judi Selset Kirkland, WA
Evelyn Trammell Muriel I. Kauffman Women's Heart Center at St. Luke Mid-America Heart Institute Kansas City, MO
Sabina Varela Texas Heart Institute Pearland, TX
Barbara Weiding Ashburn, VA
Support Network Coordinators
Dawn Anglin-Spencer Co-Coordinator, WomenHeart of Blue Water Port Huron, MI
Jodi Bradley Charleston Area Medical Center Charleston, WV
Amy Bulbitz Co-Coordinator, WomenHeart of Fox Valley West Dundee, IL
Saundra Davis Henry Ford Hospital Detroit, MI
Carolyn Dewberry-Dixon Co-Coordinator, WomenHeart of Prince George's County Brentwood, MD
Cindy Hagerty Co-Coordinator, WomenHeart of Fox Valley Elgin, IL
Holly Hollingsworth Co-Coordinator, WomenHeart of The Villages, FL
Marcia Kritzler-Egeland Bellin Hospital Sturgeon Bay, WI
Aileen Martin St. Mary Medical Center Yardley, PA
Sara McClain Virtua Health System Turnersville, NJ
Jayne McHugh Morristown Medical Center Sussex, NJ
De'Ara Porter Norton Women's Heart Center Louisville, KY
Alice Redmon Norton Women's Heart Center Knoxville, TN
Gretchen Riccardi Morristown Medical Center Mountain Lakes, NJ
Lizann Roberts St. Joseph's/Candler Savannah, GA
Debbie Robinson University of Texas Medical Branch Dickinson, TX
Michelle Scullion Virtua Health System Medford Lakes, NJ
Lorraine Tucker Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute Miami, FL
Alice Vande Linde Charleston Area Medical Center South Charleston, WV
Bertha Verde Scripps Cardiovascular Care Poway, CA
Sandy Yearout University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, TX
The WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium is a four day national conference led by Mayo Clinic's leading cardiologists and other medical and health experts, and experts in policy, advocacy, communications, and Support Network development and implementation. In addition to being trained as community educators, advocates, spokespersons, and Support Network Coordinators, participants receive training in the areas of diagnostics, technology, and treatment, including drug and device protocols, lifestyle and food management, and meditative techniques to reduce stress. WomenHeart has Support Networks in 39 states that are free of charge and meet monthly. WomenHeart Champions are also available to speak free of charge at community events and corporate events. Visit www.womenheart.org/thrive to learn more!
The fall 2016 WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium was sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Burlington, the Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, Amgen, Astellas, Gilead, Janssen, St. Jude Medical Foundation, and Abbott Vascular.
About WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease As the leading voice for the 43 million American women living with or at risk of heart disease, WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is the nation's only patient-centered organization solely dedicated to advancing women's heart health through patient support, community education and advocacy. 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.