Letter: Women, learn about heart disease

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The Jan. 7 Columbian story reported, "Heart disease, a woman's disease, too." As co-coordinator with BJ Babcock of WomenHeart for Clark County, this is exactly the information we bring to women in our community at our support, education and advocacy meetings. We offer outreach to women's groups, as well as cardiac, ob/gyn and periodontal practitioners. We ask them to alert their women patients to our being here for them.

Babcock and I are living with heart disease. We are not medical professionals. We, through rigorous competition, were chosen to attend a symposium at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to study with its leading women cardiologists, then return home and continue our education, year-round, via webinar sessions. We want women of all ages to know how vulnerable we are, especially young women, the fastest-growing group suffering and dying of heart disease. As we have learned within the last two years, this includes pregnant women and those having just given birth.

WomenHeart is the nation's only organization specific to women's heart disease. It is a nonprofit, formed by women heart disease survivors. We coordinators are volunteers. Monthly meetings are the third Thursday at Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Conference Room B.

Leslea Steffel-Dennis

Vancouver