In 2003, the Women's Heart Foundation started a Gender Care
a series of lectures that address the multifaceted and complex
health problems that surround
women's heart disease, and has attracted experts in the field
of gender medicine to lead its conferences such as former board
member, Marianne J. Legato, MD of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital
in New York; Nieca Goldberg, MD, author of the New York Times
bestseller, Women Are Not Small Men; and Mehmet Oz, MD, a
distinguished cardiologist, lecturer and TV personality for the
Discovery Channel. As a result, many New Jersey women have come
forward and agreed to share their compelling stories of survival.
Three stories, and lessons learned, are succinctly outlined
in the WHF Take Care of Your Heart brochure with a
critical message about gender care and
how heart disease affects women differently. The three women
portrayed - Jean, Cynthia and Beverly — are showing women
the way to better heart care and survival.
Read their stories. It could save your life.
In 2004, the Women's Heart Foundation started Teen Esteem Health & Fitness Program©
a gym-alternative program for girl health. One hundred and thrity sophomore girls attending Trenton Central
High School enrolled the first year. The program curriculum is being managed by the Women's Heart Foundation
and studied as a possible
cardiovascular disease intervention model by researchers at Rutgers University Department of Nursing. The same-sex environment
to health and fitness in teen girls represents a new gender-specific care model.
In 2005, the Women's Heart Foundation introduced a series of lectures with
experiential wellness components at the YWCA and at select Curves®.
The programs' pilot completed and the WHF expanded the curriculum to include
21 health topics written by health professionals, and representing the WHF Woman's Wellness
Network -- turnkey programs offering support for women of all ages
and in all stages of life. WHF then partnered
with the University of St. Francis Medical Center to create an online course
curriculum with a certificate in Women's Wellness, specially designed for fitness trainers and for nursing leaders
administering programs in communities of faith.
What is gender medicine and gender-specific care? According
to Dr. Barbara Reigel, Associate Professor of the School of Nursing
at the University of Pennsylvania, "Gender medicine
is the practice of medicine
that takes into account not only sex - the biophysical characteristics
that affect disease manifestation, care and treatment - but
also social roles and the distinctions between men and women of
a society and sociocultural norms and experiences, expressed
through values, psychosocial characteristics and behaviors - all
of which have an impact on health and disease." Marianne J.
Legato, MD, founder of the Partnership for Women's Health at
Columbia University explains: "The sex hormones affect
every cell in the body, so there are male and female hearts, male and female
livers, male and female blood vessels, male and female brains, male and female skin cells, etc. Gender medicine respects these
differences and applies them to the science of gender medicine
and to care practices."
The 1st World Congress on Gender Medicine
Women's Heart Foundation founder Bonnie
Arkus, RN, will be presenting at the poster session of the 1st
World Congress on Gender Medicine February 23-26, 2006
in Berlin, Germany with Kathleen Ashton, RN, PhD, principal investigator
for the organization's Teen
Esteem Health and Fitness Program research project. Results
of the research support a gender-specific approach
to teen girls' health and wellness.
Dr. Legato is The Congress President
and Vivian Pinn, MD, Director of the Office of Research on Women's Health
at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, DC, serves as
The Congress Honorary President.
The WHF Teen Esteem Health and Fitness Program©
The First World Congress on Gender Medicine website