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  2004 Oct 14 Release.
  For Immediate Release.
  Contact: Bonnie Arkus 609-771-9600

Gender Care Conference - Bridging Communication; Promoting the
Diagnosis of Women's Heart Disease

Trenton, NJ, October 14, 2004 - Women’s heart disease presents significant challenges to the healthcare community, with symptoms more subtle than those experienced by men, including early warning signs that resemble the flu. A lack of understanding regarding the symptoms of heart disease in women, in addition to women’s style of communicating can result in a disconnect between patient and practitioner. In order to provide healthcare professionals with a system’s approach to female-centered patient care and to enhance the diagnostic model for women with heart disease, WHF sponsored a medical conference on October 13 titled, ‘Bridging Communication to Promote Diagnosis of Women’s Heart Disease’, the second of a six-part series in the WHF Gender Care Initiative (GCI).

Held at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, the conference featured keynote Nieca Goldberg, MD, author of Women Are Not Small Men. Dr. Goldberg is the Director of the Women’s Heart Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. She said that it is essential for healthcare professionals to consider quality of life issues when treating a woman with heart disease.

Also featured was Linda Rojak BS, RNBC, Cardiology Information Systems Manager at Staten Island University Hospital. She defined a program called Nurse Informatics that is based on ANA Scope & Standards. It showed how computerized cardiology resources can provide clinical decision support while acknowledging barriers to computerized communications systems. Gender Care Initiative Chief Consultant, Lou Anne Beauregard, MD, also presented on how to avoid gaps in doctor-patient communication by employing a more thorough interview process when obtaining a woman’s medical history. Dr. Beauregard specializes in electrophysiology. Her practice is located in Manalapan.

Vice Chair of the GCI Marianne Balay, who is also Vice President of Women’s Health Services at RWJUH, addressed the audience of 450 lay and 60 health professionals in attendance. “If we concentrate solely on heart disease procedures and fail to recognize the early warning signs in women, then we have fallen far short of our goal,” she said. “The Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is committed to the Gender Care Initiative because hospitals need to track how staff respond to women’s symptoms, an essential first step to improving care.”


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