The Heart Truth - Champions Program
The Heart Truth® Champions Program, funded by the HHS Office on Women's Health (OWH), provides a day of training for women—including an overview of women's heart disease by a local cardiologist and/or nurse; personal stories of women with heart disease; an overview of The Heart Truth Campaign and Red Dress℠ Project; 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, we have trained 492 Champions who have conducted more than 590 events and reached more than 359,000 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. In 2012, the Champions program visited Seattle, WA; Edgewood, KY; Falls Church, VA; and Miami, FL. Click here to see photographs from the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 training program.
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. Click here to see a year in review of the 2011-2012 Champions Program.
A Year in Review: Champions Programming Fall 2011 - Fall 2012
The Champions trained in fall 2011 recently completed their year commitment to the Heart Truth Champions program. These champions included community health advocates from Seattle, WA; Los Angeles, CA; Knoxville, TN; and Omaha, NE. Additionally, the spring 2012 champions--including those trained in Seattle, WA; Edgewood, KY; and Falls Church, VA--completed their six-month commitment to the program. Together, The Heart Truth fall 2011 and spring 2012 Champions have planned and implemented a total of 140 events, reaching more than 14,600 people over the past year. These events included health fairs, locally organized wear red events, health seminars, educational workshops, heart disease risk factor screenings, luncheons with heart healthy recipes, organized walks, presentations at parenting classes on heart health, on-air interviews with local heart disease survivors, and Red Dress Sunday events at faith based institutions.
In Knoxville, Champions Missy Kane and Carol Osborne organized an 8-week pedometer health program. The walk incorporated heart health and physical activity messaging and participants shared healthy recipes. The group averaged over 10 kilometers a day.
In Omaha, NE, Champion Peggy Apthorpe partnered with Aging Partners to speak at senior centers on the importance of heart health and the relationship between food label reading and weight management. Over the course of one month, Peggy presented at five senior centers, reaching approximately 120 individuals.
In Seattle, WA, Champion Yolanda Goff presented at Unity Church on The Heart Truth using the Speaker's Kit (6.1MB) and a community video. Yolanda and her colleagues also acted out a skit on how minutes matter when calling 9-1-1 after a heart attack.
In Virginia, Champion Teresa Mator held an event at the Cuba Libre restaurant in Washington, DC. The womenóall dressed in redólearned to salsa and received Heart Truth materials at the end of the lesson. There were 12 attendees
In Los Angeles, CA, Champion Angelica Nino conducted two presentations at the Omar Godoy School to adults who are studying English as a Second Language. She covered the following topics: heart disease risk factors, heart attack symptoms, and heart disease prevention. Angelica reached 76 people during her two presentations.
Carol Fauz, a Champion in Edgewood, KY, partnered with Mother of God Church to organize a "walk" to Bethlehem. The group was challenged to walk or exercise a combined 6,500 miles to reach Bethlehem by Christmas. Part of the health promotion aspect was sharing information about heart disease and using exercise to help lower blood pressure, reducing risk of heart disease. There were approximately 85 participants.
"There are limited resources for community advocates. 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 NHLBI for sponsoring the program. I worked hard to make my programs 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: January 22, 2013