Friday, March 2, 2012

WomenHeart Wraps Up American Heart Month "@ Work"

On February 29, WomenHeart staff celebrated the last day of Heart Month with a heart healthy pot-luck, followed by a presentation on nutrition and a workout class.

Heart-healthy dishes at the WomenHeart American Heart Month wrap-up celebration included fruit salad, lentil soup, lemon and coconut muffins and quinoa salad.

WomenHeart Staff Jessica Eberlin, Libby Clarke and Susan Campbell at the WomenHeart American Heart Month Wrap-Up potluck.

Nutritionist and holistic health and wellness educator Ruby Lathon, PhD, came to the WomenHeart office after lunch to tell staff about the benefits of healthy eating. She talked about the danger of food additives as well as the importance of drinking water and eating greens and other vegetables. Dr. Lathon also shared the story of how she successfully overcame thyroid cancer by switching to a plant-based diet and changing her lifestyle.

Following Dr. Lathon’s presentation, WomenHeart staff headed to Fitness First Health Club near the office for a complete body conditioning class with professional trainers.

WomenHeart staff felt energized at the end of the day – from both their American Heart Month Wrap-Up Day and from all the work WomenHeart Champions put into American Heart Month this year with their WomenHeart @ Work presentations and other heart awareness activities.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

WomenHeart Champion Teaches African Dance and Heart Health

On February 25, WomenHeart Champion Essence Harris taught Girl Scouts from the New Orleans Chapter Malian dance and the importance of prevention and physical activity to maintain heart health. 125 Girl Scouts and their parents attended the event and Harris distributed Red Bags of courage to the attendees.          

WomenHeart Champion Essence Harris teaches Girl Scouts Malian Dance and Heart Health

WomenHeart Champion Karla Marburger at St. Luke’s Day of Dance

WomenHeart Champion Karla Marburger managed a WomenHeart booth at St. Luke's Health System’s Day of Dance, which took place February 25 at the Marina Inn Conference Center in South Sioux City, NE.
All booths and sponsors gave at least one door prize. WomenHeart Champion Karla Marburger’s Heart-y Cooking raffle prize consisted of a WomenHeart Cookbook, heart-shaped mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, salt-free bean soup mix, no-salt-added tomatoes (to add to the soup mix) and Mrs. Dash Table Blend for a dash of seasoning.

WomenHeart Champion Maxine Levy on NBC Nightly News

WomenHeart Champion Maxine Levy was featured on NBC Nightly News on Saturday, February 25. The story was done by Nancy Snyderman, MD, NBC chief medical editor. The story is in response to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association about women dying more often than men from heart attacks in the hospital because they experience atypical symptoms and wait too long to show up at the hospital. Levy, who suffered a heart attack at 41 years old, shared her story and warned women about the dangers of ignoring heart attack symptoms.   
Levy’s interview with Dr. Snyderman is available at:

I Heart the Affordable Care Act!

By: Sarah Murphy, intern at the National Women’s Health Network

My love affair with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) began almost two years ago, when it was signed into law and began fulfilling its promises to provide women with the quality affordable care we need to stay healthy. In particular, the ACA is doing great things to prevent chronic illnesses such as heart disease, which is responsible for one in four female deaths in America.

In honor of American Heart Month this February, I am professing my heart to the Affordable Care Act for helping ALL women’s hearts stay healthy!

How is the ACA doing this? For starters, the ACA has already started requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for important preventive services without additional cost-sharing.  In the past, many women delayed or avoided preventive care (more than half of all women) because of its cost – truly heartbreaking.  Research shows that coverage of essential preventive services like blood pressure and cholesterol screenings, diet counseling, obesity screening and tobacco cessation programs can decrease a woman’s risk of developing heart disease, thereby contributing to lower rates of heart disease which keeps more women healthy. 

In addition, the ACA provides for a special Prevention and Public Health Fund to help women lead healthy lives and develop healthy habits early on, which in turn will serve to prevent chronic illnesses such as heart disease further down the road. Money from this fund would have been spent on projects such as the “Putting Prevention to Work” initiative, which supports interventions regarding tobacco use, obesity prevention, improved nutrition, and increased physical activity.  Unfortunately, just this week, Congress cut the Fund by $5 billion, diverting the money for other initiatives and putting the long-term future of this provision of the law in question.

For women who already suffer from heart disease, the ACA promises to make sure that they can access and afford the care they need. Beginning in 2014, insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage to women with pre-existing conditions, like heart disease, and until then the ACA provides women who have been denied coverage by the insurance industry the option of Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans that offer insurance coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

My love of the Affordable Care Act will continue long into the future, as we see more and more health care benefits for women.  So, from my heart and millions of others, thank you ACA for upholding your promise to provide us with the health care we need to stay healthy!

For more information on how the Affordable Care Act helps women, please visit 

Monday, February 27, 2012

WomenHeart and AHA Visit White House

On February 24, in celebration of American Heart Month, the White House Office of Public Engagement hosted WomenHeart and the American Heart Association as part of the White House Community Leaders Briefing Series. It was the first briefing of the series on cardiovascular disease. Nearly 150 attendees, including 60 representatives from WomenHeart, participated in the briefing. Also in attendance were representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health and Secretary Sebelius' office; from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; and from the White House Office of Public Engagement.

The all-day briefing kicked off with a presentation on “Million Hearts,” a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. over five years. After lunch, participants broke out into smaller groups to discuss policies and programs to advance the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, and to address cardiovascular health disparities among women and minorities. Speaker presentations from the White House briefing are available here:

WomenHeart Champions (from left) participating in the first White House Community Leaders Briefing on Cardiovascular Disease included Deborah Kizer Flaherty, Sharon Hinchey and Dotti Pearson.

WomenHeart Champion Sharen Sleater from Alaska queries a speaker about research initiatives regarding those living with multiple chronic illnesses.

Left: WomenHeart Champion Dina Piersawl during the White House visit. 

Piersawl said: "It was an incredible, awesome, once in a lifetime experience to be one of 150 participants chosen nationwide to attend the first Community Leaders Briefing on Cardiovascular Disease on behalf of WomenHeart."

Additional pictures of the White House visit are available here:
And here:

Right: WomenHeart Champion Kathy Webster, WomenHeart President Carol Allred, WomenHeart Champion Sharon Frankel and WomenHeart CEO Lisa M. Tate

Sunday, February 26, 2012

WomenHeart of Overland Park Trivia Night

Closing out American Heart Month, WomenHeart of Overland Park, Kansas hosted a Trivia Night fundraiser on Saturday, February 25th. 

WomenHeart of Overland Park, KS Trivia Night.
WomenHeart Champion Sharon Frankel is pictured (in white).

13 teams played trivia at Round Hill Bath and Tennis Club in Overland Park. Each team enjoyed the picnic they had brought for their table, ranging from pizza delivery to chocolate-covered strawberries. WomenHeart Champion Jean Rundle’s husband Lynn was the MC, dressed as Sheriff Andy Taylor from Mayberry. While the guests mingled and ate, each WomenHeart Champion shared her story. WomenHeart Champion Beth Bale greeted guests, told the story of her heart transplant, and shared the importance of WomenHeart and the sisterhood which has formed.            

Once the game began, each team was engrossed and tried their best to keep their answers to just their table! However, when asked: “Who were the 2 men running for president during the Republican convention in Kansas City in 1976?,” WomenHeart Champion Cindy Hillman could be heard shouting out from the back of the room: “Gerald Ford and …”– quickly realizing that she should have been whispering!

Prizes were donated by various small business owners in the area, and by two WomenHeart Champions of the WomenHeart Overland Park chapter. Prizes were handed out to the winning team at the end of each round. There were ten rounds altogether. 

WomenHeart of Overland Park raised $1000 and enjoyed a great time. All the guests and WomenHeart Champions who attended the event are hoping for a rematch during Heart Month 2013!