WOMEN’S HEART HEALTH INITIATIVE–A CALL TO ACTION
WHEREAS, heart disease, often called the “silent killer,” continues to be the number one killer of women, causing a woman to die from heart disease every 60 seconds;
WHEREAS, heart disease claims more women’s lives than the next eight causes of death combined, including breast cancer;
WHEREAS, two-thirds of American women who die suddenly from heart disease had no prior symptoms;
WHEREAS, African American women and Latina women have higher heart disease and stroke risk factors than Caucasian women of comparable socioeconomic status, with heart disease being the number one killer of African American women;
WHEREAS, increasing the number of women of different races and various age groups in cardiovascular clinical trials is pivotal to identifying the best treatment options for heart disease and stroke in all women;
WHEREAS, continuation of programs such as “Go Red for Women,” led by the American Heart Association (AHA), and WISEWOMAN, created by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), are designed to improve prevention through early diagnosis connected with the ability to access the best treatment, are vital to addressing women’s heart health; and
WHEREAS, the Women’s Heart Health Initiative (WHHI) explores a non-traditional venue to provide additional cardiovascular screening for women during their OB/GYN office visits that can be of further assistance to health care providers in early identification, education, and the prevention of heart disease.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) recognizes there is a monumental need for “A Call to Action,” to devise strategies, with a strong emphasis on recognizing the warning signs of a cardiovascular event, that encompasses socioeconomic factors, cultural barriers, and lifestyle choices for those women at highest risk, thereby decreasing the deaths of one in three women dying of heart disease and stroke each year;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Black Caucus of State Legislators encourages its members and all of their legislative colleagues to create public policy to be implemented and monitored through their respective state departments of health by allowing the department to establish and collaborate with private partners to raise awareness and promote education of heart disease, to increase screening programs that will identify risk factors in women to aid in the early detection and prevention of heart disease, to ensure access to medical treatment protocols for heart disease, and lastly, to provide suggestions and support for lifestyle choices that contribute to the management of heart disease for those women at highest risk, in order to improve the quality of life for all women; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, and other federal and state government officials as appropriate.
SPONSOR: Representative Mary Coleman (MS)
Committee of Jurisdiction: Health and Human Services Policy Committee
Certified by Committee Chair: Representative Beverly Earle (NC)
Ratified in Plenary Session: Ratification Date is December 9, 2011
Ratification is certified by: Representative Barbara W. Ballard (KS), President