Dr. Nabel with FNIH Grantees and Tim Gunn at the Red Dress Collection 2009 Fashion Show

From left to right: 2009 Grantees, Marisol Morales and Elena Alvarado from the National Latina Health Network; Dr. Elizabeth G. Nabel, Former Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Tim Gunn, Project Runway mentor and Chief Creative Officer of Liz Claiborne Inc.; Kim Jefferies Leonard from The Links Foundation, Incorporated; and Meredith Green and Emily Lard from The Cardiology Associates Foundation.

The Heart Truth® Community Action Program

Sharing The Heart Truth® in local communities, The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) formed a public-private partnership with the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) to address the lack of awareness about women and heart disease through a Community Action Program.

The FNIH's Community Action Program, in support of The Heart Truth, aims to empower community organizations to assist women—especially those of color, low income, or in rural areas—in identifying personal risk factors for heart disease and motivating them to take action to lower their risk.

The Community Action Program seeks to:

  1. Increase awareness among women that heart disease is their #1 killer.
  2. Promote The Heart Truth, Red Dress symbol, and the campaign's key messages.
  3. Provide heart disease risk factor screenings to inform women of their personal risk for the disease.
  4. Educate women about lifestyle behaviors that promote heart health and lower their risk for developing heart disease.
  5. Encourage and motivate women to take steps to adopt a heart healthy lifestyle.
  6. Increase outreach to underserved women, particularly those of color, low income, or in rural areas.

The Community Action Program, a public-private partnership with FNIH and the NHLBI on behalf of The Heart Truth in support of women's heart health education and research, has awarded more than $500,000 in grants. In 2012, FNIH awarded an additional $300,000 in grants to community organizations across the country. Funding is provided by Heart Truth and FNIH partners.

The Heart Truth Community Action Program's 2012 Grantees are:

  1. Northeast District Department of Health, Brooklyn, CT
  2. St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Inc., Edgewood, KY
  3. North County Health Consortium, Littleton, NH
  4. Dallas County Health Department, Buffalo, MO
  5. Refugee Women's Health Alliance, Seattle, WA

2012 Community Action Program Grant Recipients

Northeast District Department of Health, Brooklyn, CT
The Northeast District Department of Health selected more than 100 women, ages 25-60, to be "Models of Heart Health" for rural northeastern Connecticut. They will team together as year-long subjects of highly-publicized education campaigns/activities to identify and reduce risk factors for heart disease. "Truth Teams" will recruit a coach and cheerleaders who will empower them to achieve heart-healthy lifestyles. Their transformative journey will be chronicled through social media/networking and will culminate at the Red Dress Divas Fashion Show in December. By achieving healthy outcomes, their success stories will raise awareness and serve as fifty real-world reminders that anyone can be a model of heart health.

St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Inc., Edgewood, KY
The Women Take CARE: The Year for YOU program utilizes Heart Truth outreach curriculum to actively engage Northern Kentucky women in an effort to increase awareness of the risk factors of heart disease, provide an alert for women to identify their personal risk, and empower women to reduce their risk and live a heart healthy lifestyle. This will be accomplished through inviting women ages 25-60 to join activities in a 52-week action plan. The plan will give women weekly opportunities for community support, education to change unhealthy behaviors, and actionable programs to reach their goals of a heart healthy lifestyle.

North Country Health Consortium (NCHC), Littleton, NH
NCHC will increase awareness of women's heart disease through active yoga, evidence-based heart healthy cooking instruction, and education workshops. Community partners that currently serve rural and low-income women will provide health screenings and information booths in their communities. NCHC will use its extensive programs and networks to distribute The Heart Truth message, promote the Red Dress symbol, incorporate goal-setting, and follow-up with women to ensure positive behavioral change regarding their risk of heart disease. As a trained CDSMP leader, NCHC's knowledge of critical preventative measures and ways of managing chronic disease will enhance services provided through this grant.

Dallas County Health Department, Buffalo, MO
The Women, Numbers, Heart, Lifestyle (WNHL) Program campaign will consist of cholesterol and glucose screenings for income-eligible women ages 25-34, followed by one on one lifestyle education sessions, and a follow-up cholesterol screening. The campaign will also include two; eight-week physical activity, nutrition and weight loss challenges, a Red Dress Day campaign, a Heart Truth Walk, and community presentations.

Refugee Women's Alliance, Seattle, WA
The Refugee and Immigrant Community Healthy Hearts (RICHHs) project will: 1) increase awareness about heart disease amongst women who are from Somalia, Burma, and Nepal; and 2) educate women on the prevalence of heart disease in women and offer preventive measures for a heart healthy life style. Key activities include: Healthy Heart Workshops, Food Tasting gatherings, and Red Dress Day Potlucks, Production of a Cookbook, and Community Presentations. As a result of this project, approximately 270 women will learn about heart disease and take measurable steps to adopt a heart healthy life style.

Divas, MPH, College Park, MD
The proposed program would take place over 10 months. The first two events will promote awareness and education through a social media campaign, and in-person event launch activity. The core of the program will encourage women to adopt and maintain a Heart Healthy Lifestyle over the course of 20 weeks through the identification of personal risk factors, skill-building, goal-setting, and social support and accountability. Intended outcomes include, increased awareness, increased knowledge of risks, measurable behavior change, and improvement over time in blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Last Updated: September 6, 2012

® The Heart Truth, its logo, The Red Dress, and Heart Disease Doesn't Care What You Wear—It's the #1 Killer of Women are registered trademarks of HHS.
® National Wear Red Day is a registered trademark of HHS and AHA.

Twitter iconTwitterExternal link Disclaimer         Facebook iconFacebookimage of external link icon         YouTube iconYouTubeimage of external link icon