The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease has launched the first virtual support network specifically for women living with atrial fibrillation. The WomenHeart Virtual Support Network is part of WomenHeart’s national patient and public education campaign about atrial fibrillation and stroke risk and is designed to provide critical education and emotional support to women living with the heart condition.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. Atrial fibrillation affects millions of women, while stroke related to atrial fibrillation is more common in women than in men. Since 2002, WomenHeart has been providing patient support exclusively for women living with heart disease. This first Virtual Support Network for women with a specific form of heart disease is “a significant advance in reaching all women who live with heart disease,” says a WomenHeart press release.
“Atrial fibrillation is a serious heart condition that affects millions of women nationwide. WomenHeart is excited to offer this new and expanded free patient support service to these women to provide them and their caregivers the opportunity to better understand how to manage the condition and their stroke risk to live a more heart healthy life,” said Mary McGowan, chief executive officer, WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.
The WomenHeart Virtual Support Network will be led by two “WomenHeart Champions”-women living with heart disease who are volunteer support network coordinators for WomenHeart. Each one-hour meeting will consist of a telephone presentation about a key topic in women’s heart health, educational materials, and time for discussion and question and answer with Annabelle Volgman, member of the WomenHeart Scientific Advisory Council and McMullan-Eybel chair for excellence in clinical cardiology, professor of medicine, Rush College of Medicine, medical director, Rush Heart Center for Women.
In addition, the programme includes a message board where Virtual Support Network attendees can post about their experience and journey living with atrial fibrillation, and ask questions to by Volgman.