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Office on Women's Health Regional Activities

Region I

Region I has supported educational activities on cardiovascular disease in women through work and funding on the Maine Women and CVD Plan and Report (2001) and the Vermont Women and Heart Disease: Working Toward Prevention Conference (2002). Both promoted awareness and prevention strategies.

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Region II

New York City Women's Healthy Heart Consortium

Since 2001, this coalition of 15 public and private sector partners has been convened by the New York City Department of Health to plan and implement citywide activities focused on the prevention of cardiovascular disease in women. The Regional Women's Health Coordinator is an active member of the Women's Healthy Heart Consortium. Examples of activities have included: a) a legislative briefing on cardiovascular disease and women for the New York City Council; b) public health awareness campaigns conducted in partnership with local florists on Valentine's Day and Mother's Day; c) neighborhood walks in parks and botanical gardens throughout New York City, with an educational component on the importance of exercise to prevent cardiovascular disease; and a d) a seminar on heart disease and women for private corporations in the health industry.

National Women's Health Week

During National Women's Health Week, May 12–18, 2002, several community-based organizations conducted community health fairs at which they provided health screenings and distributed educational brochures on women and cardiovascular disease. Sponsoring organizations included St Barnabas Hospital Women's Health Community Center of Excellence, Bronx, NY; William F Ryan Community Health Center, New York, NY; and U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health Division of Chronic Disease.

Medical Experts as Spokespersons

Dr. Nieca Goldberg, Chief, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention, at the Women's Heart Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, has developed a model program to address cardiovascular disease in women. In 2002, she published a book entitled Women Are Not Small Men: Life-Saving Strategies for Preventing and Healing Heart Disease in Women. Dr. Goldberg has been an outspoken advocate on women and cardiovascular disease at professional conferences; she was a presenter at HRSA Region II's Annual Conference in May 2002.

Target the Heart: A Summit on Stroke and Heart Disease in Women

This summit took place on March 13, 2003 in Buffalo, NY. It was sponsored by the Jacobs Neurological Institute and co-sponsored by the HHS Region II Office on Women's Health and others. The conference examined the latest in data, prevention, and intervention strategies to address cardiovascular disease in women.

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Region IV

American Indian Health Summit: "Keeping the Circle Healthy"

OWH Region IV was a co-sponsor with the North Carolina Commission on Indian Affairs to convene this two-day conference focused on the education and prevention of chronic diseases in North Carolina Indian Communities. The second-day general session was Cardiovascular Health and Stroke-Early Warning Signs. This session focused on the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), the prevalence of CVD risk factors, and promoting healthy lifestyles in American Indian Communities. The speaker also addressed the differences in treatment of CVD symptoms in men and women.

Take Charge of Your Heart: Reducing Cardiovascular Risks in Women

OWH Region IV co-sponsored this first women's health summit with the Georgia Office of Women's Health. The summit was held in Macon, Georgia. The summit educated primary care physicians and other health providers about the risks for women in developing cardiovascular disease and what they can do to reduce these risks. It provided specific information about CVD risk factors for women.

"Girls Rule!" Obesity Prevention Intervention for African American Girls Project

OWH Region IV co-sponsored this project with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It focused on community-based preventive research efforts to gather information on individual, household, community, and ecological factors that affect diet and physical activity among African American girls in North Carolina. The information gathered will be used to develop an age-appropriate and culturally specific intervention, integrating spiritual, social, and cultural strengths of the African American Church. It provides specific intervention with African American girls to reduce the risks of CVD.

Leadership Institute for Women's Health and Health Policy

In collaboration with the Emory Regional Training Center, OPHS Region IV sponsored this weeklong institute for clinicians (nurses and mid-level providers) from eight southeastern states to expand their leadership and clinical skills in the area of women's health. These sessions included a presentation on cardiovascular disease and prevention in women with a focus on identifying the risk factors for heart disease in women; understanding the epidemiology of heart disease; recognizing the differences in presentation of heart disease in women and men; and, identifying diagnostic and treatment strategies for heart disease in women. It provided updated information for clinical providers to use when they return to their clinical settings, which provide services to women.

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Region VI

Social Security Field Office Group Meeting: "Importance of Women's Health"

OWH Region VI office provides educational sessions to federal employees on women's health topics. In this case, the session focused on "taking care of yourself by taking care of your health." This OWH initiative focused on women's health across the lifespan by providing women's health care services, education, and outreach.

University of North Texas UN Conference on Women: "The Power to be Cool, Smart and Successful"

OWH funded three speakers to discuss "The Impact of Culture on Disease" at this conference. Women from various race/ethnicities attend this yearly conference, and the health track is one of interest to many women attending the conference. The speakers focused on the importance of keeping healthy and how one's culture can be positive or negative in improving one's health. Nutrition and physical activity were also discussed. An exhibit booth also provided OWH women's health information.

Jemez Health & Human Services-Walatowa Women's Health Wellness Conference "Women are Sacred" in New Mexico

OWH works with various American Indian tribes to promote health of American Indian women. Region VI's OWH provided conference support for American Indian women at the Jemez Pueblo, in Jemez, New Mexico. This pueblo has strong health department initiatives that focus on heart, diabetes, domestic violence prevention initiatives. Various health topics and prevention methods were discussed. The speaker, an American Indian woman, was able to relate cultural messages and the importance of being pro-active with one's health care.

24th Annual Conference on Women's Health Care University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and Ft. Worth Business Women's Expo-Ft. Worth, Texas

OWH Region VI exhibits to large professional and consumer groups in their local area to build awareness of how the federal government is encouraging women to live healthier, longer lives. OWH materials, including heart-focused messages, nutrition, and physical exercise.

Federal Physical Activity Expo

Region VI OWH started this comprehensive health prevention/health promotion messages three years ago with a Federal Physical Activity Expo. They had vendors from the community (including American Heart Association) hand out messages and the importance of including health nutrition, physical activity, and rest/stress-relieving messages to have better body health. More than 300 people participated.

Walk Across Texas

Region VI has been involved the last two years in partnering with local USDA Cooperative Extension Service, to promote "Walk Across Texas," an 8-week workplace initiative to encourage good heart/body health activities. FOH provided health screenings, including blood pressure checks. More than 120 people participated.

National Women's Health Week

Region VI OWH has participated in "Take Your Loved One to the Doctor Day" for the last two years, and also had a "Checkup Day," for women during National Women's Health Week last year. These events emphasized health screenings (blood pressure and cholesterol screenings). About 1,000 individuals attended these screenings.

Community Health Presentations

For three years, Region VI has provided over ten community health promotion presentations that include heart health. They have reached at a minimum of 500 participants.

Teen Health Fashion Show

In 2004, Region VI OWH is working with teens 14 to 17 years of age to have a "Teen Health Fashion Show," that will feature 50 teen models. The evening gown section will have red dresses and the health message will be "Protecting Your Heart Now." About 500 people partcipated.

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Region VIII

Community Stroke Education Collaboration

The National Stroke Association was awarded a contract by the Region VIII Office of the Regional Health Administrator to conduct a needs assessment within the region. Public health providers such as community health centers, family planning clinics, and Indian Health Service providers were asked to assess a variety of patient and provider education materials and to assess their provider training needs and preferences. A toolkit of materials was provided to all participating clinics plus the Primary Care Associations in Region VIII.

Montana Cardiovascular Health Summit

A plenary presentation was made during the conference entitled "Cardiovascular Disease Intervention in Women" at Montana's statewide conference on heart disease and stroke. It educated health providers about the gender differences in the prevention, identification, and treatment of heart disease.

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Region X

Workshop on Public Health Approaches to Healthy Weight: Social Marketing, Focus Groups and Targeted Interventions, April 4-6, 2001, Seattle, Washington

The April 2001 workshop was the second in a series of trainings designed to build capacity of the public health workforce in Region X to address issues of healthy weight in adolescent women of color. The content of the year's workshop was planned to meet needs expressed in the evaluations of April 2000's expert panel meeting and those expressed by respondents to a survey posted by the NWOPP in the fall of 2000. Attendees learned about the process of implementing focus groups and social marketing campaigns. Presenters included case studies of successful experiences that they have had in these areas. The small workshop format encouraged interactions and provided opportunities for public health practitioners to begin planning effective interventions in their own states and cities.

The Interface of Urban Design, Public Health and Physical Activity in Prevention Obesity, December 6, 2001, Seattle, Washington

The urban design conference provided a forum for experts and advocates to look into the environmental causes of obesity and the ways in which urban design can promote physically active communities. The outcome of this meeting generated a short policy document that can be used for several purposes, including advocacy with elected officials and health planners, and strategic planning for nutrition and physical activity programming throughout Washington State. Ideas for the policy document were explored during the facilitated discussion portion of the conference and were presented in a draft form for comment.

Northwest Obesity Prevention Project

The project seeks to improve capacity in Region X to (1) address obesity in programs that target the health of women and adolescents (2) support collaborative relationships between communities, agencies, and disciplines to facilitate systems development, program planning, and timely responses to Request for Proposals for innovative approaches to obesity.

We have established an ongoing, multidisciplinary work group of committed public health professionals and prevention specialists in Region X, including nutritionists, women's health specialists from medicine and nursing, behavioral experts, physical activity experts, epidemiologists, and health educators. A listserv and a website have been established to facilitate communication and resource sharing. The first phase of work was a resource assessment. The work group provided information about existing assessment information, references and materials, current obesity-related efforts in the region, interests of specific geographic areas and/or ethnic groups, and resources for interventions. This information was enhanced through the systematic use of key informant interviews, and results were posted on the website.

Content last updated February 01, 2004.

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