Heart Truth Community Action Program

In efforts to encourage women to take action to lower their risk for heart disease, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) have joined together once again to offer The Heart Truth Community Action Program.

Since 2009 the FNIH has awarded more than a million dollars to thirty-three organizations for community-level programs. This year, the program invited submissions from organizations with the capacity to promote The Heart Truth message to a geographically broad audience and guide and fund multiple subsidiary or partner organizations at the community level to implement creative, evidence-based strategies to motivate women, particularly women at high risk, to take personal action to control their risk for heart disease. This shift in strategy seeks to multiply the influence of this initiative by reaching more communities ultimately impacting more women.

The FNIH Community Action Program aims to empower community organizations to assist women―especially those of color, low income, and/or living in rural areas―in learning their personal risk factors for heart disease and motivating them to take action to lower their risk. As part of the program, recipients have to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative programs that equip women to make sustainable lifestyle behavior changes that support heart health and lower their risk for heart disease. Recipients must also actively promote awareness of the The Heart Truth, the NHLBI’s national education program for women about heart disease.

The program activities of the Community Action Program must advance the following objectives:

  1. Mobilize communities to increase awareness among women aged 25-60 for whom heart disease is the #1 cause of death for women.
  2. Engage community partners, stakeholders, and key organizations in supporting and sustaining Heart Truth outreach and educational programming.
  3. Facilitate skill-building, goal-setting, and social support to help women make sustainable lifestyle behavioral changes that help lower their risk factors for heart disease.
  4. Promote The Heart Truth program, the Red Dress® symbol, and the program’s key messages, educational materials, website, and tools.
  5. Provide heart disease risk factor screenings to inform women of their personal risk for the disease as well as education and follow-up for those women identified with risk factors.
  6. Educate women about lifestyle behaviors that promote heart health and lower their risk for developing heart disease.
  7. Increase outreach to underserved women and those living in areas of high cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality—particularly women of color, with low income and/or living in rural areas.

Funding for the program is donated to the FNIH by the Heart Truth’s partners and supporters.

The Heart Truth Community Action Program's 2015 recipients are:
  1. The Hope Heart Institute (Bellevue, WA)

    The Hope Heart Institute has developed the Women Take Heart™ program to help spread heart healthy messages. The Women Take Heart™ educational series will raise awareness about women’s heart disease symptoms and provide women with practical tools for healthier living. As part of its outreach, the Hope Heart Institute will develop curriculum materials, including brochures, handouts, magnets, and posters in a variety of languages, as well as develop a video public service announcement (PSA) in English, Spanish, and Russian that focuses on The Heart Truth messages. Through this program, the Hope Heart Institute will reach low income women from refugee/immigrant communities, as well as Latina, African American and Asian women, and women who are currently incarcerated in Western Washington.

  2. Nia Inc., of Greater (Richmond, VA)

    Through the Healthy Greater Richmond: Women, Take Charge! program, Nia, Inc. will program will provide comprehensive community-level interventions to mobilize women to increase their awareness of heart disease and identify and reduce personal risk factors associated with the disease, as well as build positive social connections and support peers to live a healthier life. Additionally, the program aims to increase awareness of heart disease through mass media channels, large-scale events, and the mobilization of churches. Through this program, Nia Inc. will reach low-income African American and Hispanic women.

  3. Regents of the University of California (Riverside, CA)

    The University of California’s Navigating Pacific Hearts program will provide participants with the skills necessary to recognize and reduce the risk of heart disease. The program will focus on heart-healthy cooking with traditional foods, weight management, and physical activity and will reach native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander (NHPI) women.

  4. West Virginia University Research Corporation (Morgantown, WV)

    Through the Love Your Heart Partnership in West Virginia, the West Virginia University Research Corporation will educate, motivate, and support women to assess their personal/family heart disease risks, to identify and set personal/family goals to reduce risks, and to take action to pursue goals. Culturally-tailored strategies include trainings, heart health screenings and celebrations, Women on Wellness Retreats, woman-to-woman dissemination of Heart Truth messages, and a public media campaign. The program will reach rural and medically underserved women.

  5. The Links Foundation, Inc. (Washington, DC)*

    The Links Foundation’s HeartLinks to Heart Health program will offer heart health sessions and risk screenings to over 90,000 women to help them identify their personal risk for heart disease and encourage targeted behavior changes based on risk assessment. Their program will reach African American women and underserved communities.

  6. Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center, Cedars Sinai Heart Institute (Los Angeles, CA)*

    The Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center will develop and disseminate atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk assessment (ASCVD) toolboxes in common place settings (such as malls, hair salons, and regional events) across Central and East Los Angeles. Partnering organizations will provide education, screenings, and referrals as applicable. The program will reach orthodox Jewish, African American and Hispanic women.

*These organizations are receiving funding through a sub-contracting mechanism, and not through FNIH.


The Heart Truth®, its logo, The Red Dress®, and Red Dress® are registered trademarks of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  National Wear Red Day® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and American Heart Association.