Mary McGowan & Eva Maciejewski

Mary McGowan & Eva Maciejewski

WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, USA

Title: Using women and heart disease - Specific campaigns to motivate change


With over 35 years of non-profit management experience, Mary McGowan currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease to ensure the successful implementation of the organization’s strategic direction and increase its visibility and brand recognition nationally. Prior to joining WomenHeart in 2010, McGowan served as Executive Director of the Allergy & Asthma Network. She held various positions with the American Academy of Pediatrics during her service of 18 years. McGowan earned a Masters Degree in Human Resources Development from the George Washington University and a B.A. from Trinity University.


WomenHeart has been conducting women and heart disease-specific campaigns for the past two years with the goal of formulating key policy and research recommendations to advance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease in women. Drawing from our database of 20,000 members, we developed and conducted national patient education surveys approved by the Institutional Review Board and led telephone focus groups and patient round-tables. We obtained valuable input from women heart patients on specific topics related to heart disease. We then held key opinion leader workshops, in which researchers and policy experts discussed the results gathered from these surveys, focus groups, and round-tables and formulated key recommendations. WomenHeart released the results of these studies and key opinion leader workshops at briefings on Capitol Hill, thereby raising awareness among congressional staff. Additionally, these findings were published in peer reviewed journals such as Elsevier’s Women’s Health Issues, consequentially underscoring the importance of these heart health issues throughout the medical community. In this workshop, we will highlight how our topic-specific campaigns on heart disease in women have the potential to draw the attention of policy-makers, healthcare professionals, and the public. We will focus on the following three recent topic-specific campaigns:

·         Cholesterol and Familial Hypercholesterolemia

·         Heart Failure and Women

·         Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Risk in Women