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2006 May 2 Release.
For Immediate Release.
Contact: Bonnie Arkus (609) 771-9600

Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells and National Director of Gender-specific Medicine Rosaly Correa-de-Araujo MD, MSc, PhD, will join New Jersey women at the event.

TRENTON, NJ - Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells will serve as the Honorary State Chairwoman and Rosaly Correa-de-Araujo MD, MSc, PhD, Director of Women's Health and Gender-based Research at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality/DHHS, as Honorary National Chairwoman for the Women's Heart Foundation 3rd Annual RUN FOR YOUR HEART, to take place May 14 (Mother's Day) at Mercer County Park, NJ, starting at 8 A.M. Peri Nearon, Director of the New Jersey Office on Women's Health will serve as Vice Chair and Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein, 14th District, as emcee. County Executive Brian Hughes will be the Grand Marshall.

"We are using Women's Health Week as a platform to raise awareness of wellness activities like walking just 30 minutes a day can prevent heart disease," said Bonnie Arkus, the founder and executive director of the Women's Heart Foundation (WHF).

"Heart disease is women's #1 killer and as health-conscious women, we can make a loud statement by taking part in this walk, setting an example for women of all ages," said Secretary Wells. "I am honored to serve as this year's chairwoman and what better way to celebrate Mother's Day than by encouraging women to make their health a priority. I want to invite all New Jersey women to come out and join the Women's Heart Foundation for it's third annual run/walk and make appointments with their physicians to get early screenings for heart disease", she said.

The event coincides with the beginning of National Women's Health Week May 14-20, an educational initiative of the US Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) Office on Women's Health. The event is being co-sponsored by DHHS, Region II as part of the National Institutes of Health HEART TRUTH project. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is also a Presenting Sponsor, contributing $5,000 to the day's event. Other sponsors include Capital Health System, L'Oreal USA, The Times, Packet Publications, Wegmans of Princeton, PSE&G, Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton Center for Health and Wellness and Roma Bank.

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. for the 5k Run/Walk and for the 1-mile Family Health Walk. The Run/Walk starts at 9:00 a.m.; the children's Fun Runs at 10:00 a.m. along with face-painting and other activities including a jewelry sale with 100% of the proceeds to benefit the WHF. The Awards ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m.. The first 500 registrants will receive a T-Shirt. The pre-registration fee is $18 at www.active.com. Prizes will be presented to the top male and female finishers and to the top corporate team with largest number registered participants. L&M Sports will officiate the scoring and timing and Baldasari, the race management.

The Women's Heart Foundation stresses the fact that heart disease is not just a man's disease. A woman dies every minute from heart disease. One of three American women will succumb. Early warning signs of heart attack presents in 71% of women with sudden onset of flu-like symptoms and a "funny feeling" in the chest. Symptoms often go unrecognized and tests misinterpreted, leading to more advanced vessel disease and worse outcomes. This is evidenced by study results released last February from the Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) demonstrating the physiology of myocardial ischemia to be a much more complex picture for women than previously realized with diseased arteries appearing angiographically normal. All studies point to the critical need for a gender-specific cardiovascular disease intervention model for women.

WHF is the only heart organization that designs and implements heart wellness and intervention programs and has received national recognition for the success of its Women's Heart Week and Medication Safety programs. Women's Heart Foundation's Teen Esteem Health and Fitness program at Trenton Central High School was recently featured at an international conference. Now in its second year, the program is being studied by a research team from the Rutgers University -Camden as an intervention model for effecting healthy lifestyle choices in adolescent girls.

"We must pull together government, civic, business and medical communities to address women's heart disease. Receiving a proper diagnosis and access to appropriate care is a human rights issue. We must work together with thought leaders to resolve disparities in women's heart care and resultant poor outcomes", says Bonnie. Ms. Arkus is credited with starting the women's heart movement in 1988, after her own mother's death from a heart attack and subsequent heart bypass surgery.

"Because a majority of the risk factors for heart disease are modifiable, there is a lot women can do to reduce their risks and help prevent heart disease. By living a healthy lifestyle including exercising for at least 30 to 40 minutes each day, women can help beat heart disease", said Dr. Correa-de-Araujo.

The Heart Truth is a national awareness campaign for women about heart disease sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in partnership with the Office on Women's Health, DHHS and other organizations committed to the health and well-being of women.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey believes in social responsibility and giving back to the community. That is why it continues to work with New Jersey communities, addressing crucial issues we all face. Horizon BCBSNJ continues to forge strong relationships with exceptional nonprofit organizations and supports programs and activities that promote healthy lifestyles, wellness and prevention. Horizon BCBSNJ is dedicated to providing the support necessary to Making Healthcare Work.

The Women's Heart Foundation is headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey. Teen Esteem will be entering its third year of teen programming in September 2006, and plans to expand operations by offering the program to other inner-city schools. Founded in 1992, The WHF seeks to define and implement wellness and prevention programs and institutionalize gender-specific evidence-based care to save women's lives.

For more information about the May 14 Run For Your Heart, contact the Women's Heart Foundation at (609) 771-9600 or go to www.womensheart.org to download flyer or to link to online registration at Active.com.




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1999-2000; updates: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 Women's Heart Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited. The information contained in this Women's Heart Foundation (WHF) Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and WHF recommends consultation with your doctor or health care professional.