Martina McBride, Mayor Barry announce new health initiative - WSMV News 4

Martina McBride, Mayor Barry announce new women's health initiative

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Country music star Martina McBride teamed up with the Women's Heart Alliance and Mayor Megan Barry on Monday morning to announce a new initiative to combat women's heart disease and strokes.

The new initiative, Cities and Communities with Heart Initiative, is a first-of-its-kind program to combat the disease.

According to the Women's Heart Alliance, women are eight times more likely to die from heart disease and stroke than breast cancer. Heart disease and strokes are also the number one killer of women in Davidson County.

"The statistics about women's heart health in Nashville and Davidson County are startling, but we've got a great team and a great plan to fight this problem. I'm proud that Nashville is taking a big step to improve women's heart health, and I'm grateful to the Women's Heart Alliance and our other other partners for the passion and expertise each of them brings to this fight," Barry said. 

Officials with the Women's Heart Alliance said they chose Nashville as the first city in the country to roll out the initiative in part because of the city's quality healthcare system.

McBride told the crowd of about 50 that this issue is about equality and that women deserve the same access to resources as men. 

"We don't know enough about women's heart disease, but we do know that it is under-funded, under-researched and under-diagnosed. We must end this epidemic -- for our moms our daughters and all the women we love," McBride said. 

The initiative has five components, which will be rolled out this year:

  • Caring for the Caregiver- a program to improve cardiovascular health and reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors among nurses in Nashville's hospitals and health systems.
  • A clinical study on pregnancy complications and their link to cardiovascular disease risk factors.
  • A workforce health initiative through the Office of the Mayor to improve the hearth health of female municipal workers.
  • A screening and prevention effort in collaboration with Tennessee State University and reduce cardiovascular disease and its risk factors in younger women.
  • A community initiative centered around one or more health centers and reaching African Americans and/or immigrant refugee women

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