By Sarah Bello
Local WomenHeart Champions Michele Abrahams and Jenny Jacques, RN, along with Leslie Claterbos, CMH Cardiology Clinic Manager, were in Washington, D.C., last week spreading the word about women and heart disease. CMH participates in this event yearly to show support and participate in the fight against women’s heart disease.
Claterbos represented the hospital at the WomenHeart National Hospital Alliance 2018 Annual Members Meeting: Enhancing the Patient Experience, and Abrahams and Jacques attended the WomenHeart Support Network Coordinator Conference (SNCC). Claterbos said both Abrahams and Jacques are passionate about sharing their stories.
“I enjoy working with and admire both these women for all the time they volunteer supporting our patients and fellow community members,” Claterbos said.
Abrahams said the SNCC is a chance for coordinators to meet with the WomenHeart Foundation and brush up on skills in order to present WomenHeart and its mission to women and organizations in their own communities. At the conference, she and Jacques learned more about community outreach and building networks. She said a highlight was “Capitol Hill Day,” where she and Jacques met with Jack Arriaga, legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. Susan Bonamici.
She and Jacques were able to share with him the importance of reaching as many women as possible about heart disease — the number one killer of women — as well as the importance of clinical trials that are women-based and women knowing their numbers and risk factors.
“This conference is a great boost to remind each of us why we started this journey of outreach to as many women with or at risk of heart disease as possible,” Abrahams said. “I cannot thank Columbia Memorial Hospital, Dr. Rinkevich and Leslie Claterbos enough with providing me the opportunity to support and educate the wonderful women of our community through the work I do as a WomenHeart Support Network Coordinator and a WomenHeart Champion.
CMH is one of 45 hospitals nationwide (and the only hospital in Oregon) that is part of the WomenHeart National Hospital Alliance. As part of the alliance, Dr. Diana Rinkevich, medical director of the CMH/OHSU Cardiology Clinic and the cardiology team, established a peer-led support group in Astoria that provides support and education for women who have suffered a heart event or are at risk.
The WomenHeart Support Group meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month in the Coho Room on the second floor of the CMH Columbia Center (2021 Marine Drive, Astoria). This month’s meeting is tomorrow, Wednesday, May 16, and the topic of discussion is the Far Reaching Effects of Heart Disease.
Media Contact: Felicia Struve, 503-338-4504
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