The Heart Truth - Champions Program
The Heart Truth® Champions Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health, provides a day of training for individuals—including an overview of heart disease by a local cardiologist and/or nurse; personal stories of women with heart disease; an overview of The Heart Truth and Champions Program; and an overview of The Heart Truth's education materials for the public and health professionals. Additionally, the training provides an interactive community audit and action plan development session. To date, The Heart Truth has trained 678 Champions who have conducted more than 730 community events, which have reached more than 627,000 people.
The Heart Truth Champions represent faith-based, civic, women's, and/or health organizations. They may be community leaders, health educators, wellness directors, nurses, or other individuals who work at the local level and talk directly to people about their health. Most importantly, The Heart Truth Champions offer access to an extensive community network, especially populations of women that bear a disproportionate burden from heart disease. Champions are selected based on their current position and involvement in health education and community outreach in their local area. Training program photographs are available for viewing.
Over the past year, The Heart Truth Champions have taken a leading role in creating opportunities to participate in local community activities to raise awareness of women and heart disease.
A Year in Review: Champions Programming 2014
The Champions trained in 2014 completed their 6-month commitment to the Heart Truth Champions program. These Champions included community health advocates from: Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; San Diego, CA; and New York, NY.
The 2014 Champions planned and implemented a total of 44 events, reaching more than 1,700 people. These events included health fairs, cooking sessions, educational workshops, heart disease risk factor screenings, organized walks, presentations on heart health at the Consulate of Mexico, and events coordinated with faith based institutions.
In New York, Deborah Acevedo participated in The Narrow Door Church health fair as a Champion for The Heart Truth. She educated the health fair attendees about heart disease in women and its risk factors and offered counseling on heart healthy lifestyle changes to 100 people.
In San Diego, five Champions worked in collaboration to conduct a Spanish-language educational session about The Heart Truth and heart disease in women titled: Cuidando el corazón (Taking care of the heart). The Champions talked to participants about the risk factors for heart disease, along with the importance of physical activity and stretching exercises. The event featured Dr. Ángeles Félix, who talked about how heart disease affects women and the activity ended with a Q&A session.
In Chicago, Leticia Pérez and Maricela Guadarrama worked together on the heart healthy event: Tu corazón te lo agradecerá (Your heart will thank you for it). This educational session took place at the Consulate of Mexico, where the Champions talked to 50 participants about physical activity and healthy eating.
In Philadelphia, several Champions joined the 28th Annual Philadelphia AIDS 5k Walk/Run to talk to attendees about heart disease in women and hand out The Heart Truth materials to raise awareness.
"There are limited resources for communities. Thank you for bringing support to advocates at the local level."
"Many thanks to all who are involved in this program and for allowing me to participate. A very special thanks to the NHLBI for sponsoring the program. I worked hard to make my activities a success. This has been a very good program and I hope it continues so that we can reach more people."
"Thank you for providing me with great information to share with my community. I pass it on frequently."
"Thank you for having me. My philosophy is 'once a champion always a champion'."
"I thoroughly enjoyed promoting awareness of women's risk for heart disease all year long. I would love to continue spreading the word. I am now planning my 2nd Annual Red Dress/Red Tie Event for next February! Thank you so much for this opportunity!"
Last Updated: August 2015