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Mayor Megan Barry and the Women's Heart Alliance Launch Effort to Improve Heart Health of Metro Workforce

September 21, 2017

Program is a component of WHA’s Cities and Communities with Heart Initiative aimed at reducing deaths among women in Nashville from heart disease and stroke

With more women dying from heart disease and stroke in Nashville than all cancers combined, Mayor Megan Barry and the Women’s Heart Alliance (WHA) unveiled WHA’s Cities and Communities with Heart Workforce Initiative with the goal of improving the heart health of female municipal workers.

Employees from the Mayor’s Office and three Metro departments participated in heart health screenings Wednesday at First Tennessee Park. The goal of the screenings was to empower employees to make obtaining and maintaining heart health a personal priority and to motivate participants to encourage their co-workers – both women and men – to get heart-checked. The event also featured an array of fun, engaging heart-healthy activities, such as exercise demonstrations, nutrition counseling, CPR training, healthy lunches and giveaways, and education on heart health.

WHA’s Cities and Communities with Heart Initiative (CCHI) Nashville was launched in February as a collaborative multi-year effort to prevent women in Nashville from needlessly suffering and dying from cardiovascular disease.  Since its inception, CCHI has unveiled its “Caring for the Caregiver” program to improve heart health and reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors among nurses in Nashville’s hospitals and health systems. This week’s launch of the Cities and Communities with Heart Workforce Initiative is another step forward in Mayor Barry and WHA’s work to promote education and awareness of heart disease and stroke while empowering women to improve their health and reduce their risk of heart disease.

Prior to delivering her remarks, Mayor Barry joined other female Metro employees in getting her heart checked, which included a brief survey, biometric screening, and risk counseling by medical professionals.

“I’m so pleased to launch our event with our female workforce,” Mayor Barry said. “Even though eight times more Nashville women will die this year from heart disease and stroke than breast cancer, women’s heart disease is not often recognized as the threat to public health that it is. Our workforce is a tremendous asset to Metro, and we’re here today to say that we value our workforce and we want to empower them to get and stay heart-healthy.”

“The Women’s Heart Alliance is working to create a movement to raise awareness and catalyze action to reduce the risk of women’s cardiovascular disease,” said WHA CEO British A. Robinson. “We are excited that this movement has started in Nashville through our partnership with your dedicated and enthusiastic Mayor and dynamic community leaders who are providing their tremendous support in advancing WHA’s Cities and Communities with Heart Initiative. The launch of today’s WHA’s Cities and Communities with Heart Workforce Initiative is another step forward in our joint commitment to save lives from the number one killer of women.”

Employees from Davidson County Juvenile Court, the Mayor’s Office, Metro Action Commission and Nashville Public Library participated in the initial screenings. Metro and WHA plan to expand the initiative to include other Metro departments and agencies.

The heart disease facts in Davidson County are startling:

  • Cardiovascular disease is women’s number one killer.
  • For every one woman who dies of breast cancer, more than eight die from heart disease and stroke.

Many people are at risk of heart disease and stroke:

  • 23.2 percent of adults smoke.
  • Nearly one-third are obese.
  • About one in four are physically inactive.
  • 33.6 percent report having high blood pressure.
  • 33.5 percent say that have been diagnosed with high cholesterol.

(Sources: Metro Public Health Department; Healthy Nashville; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Nashville.gov)

CCHI Nashville is led by a seven-member community steering committee that includes WHA, the Office of Mayor Megan Barry, Metro Public Health Department, Meharry Medical College, Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, NashvilleHealth and Saint Thomas Health.

The Nashville Sounds, First Tennessee Foundation, Kroger, The Little Clinic and Jason’s Deli helped sponsor the event, while the following partners have contributed their time and resources to the launch of the Cities and Communities with Heart Workforce Initiative: NashvilleHealth; Metro Public Health Department; Metro Parks Department/Centennial Sportsplex; Metro Human Resources; the Nashville Farmers’ Market; the YMCA of Middle Tennessee; American Heart Association; Nashville General Hospital at Meharry; the Nashville Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; The Little Clinic; New Beginnings Center; and Hands Only CPR: Dr. Holly Andersen.

More information about CCHI Nashville

Women's Heart Alliance Event Photo

Women's Heart Alliance Event Photo

Women's Heart Alliance Event Photo

Women's Heart Alliance Event Photo