to me because...
We are all fortunate to have a fantastic woman who goes above and beyond to care for every single detail in our lives. It is our turn to take care of them and their heart health. No one should lose their beloved ones because of unequal access to healthcare."
In 2018, I attended a conference for SCAD. SCAD stands for Spontaneous Dissection of Coronary Arteries, a tear in the blood vessels that supply the heart. I listened to many patients share their heart health stories alongside presentations from experts in women’s heart health.
This conference was an eye-opener for me. I remember going home with a heavy heart, feeling as doctors, we are failing our women patients intentionally.
There is a huge knowledge gap in cardiovascular care for women. Women with heart attacks do not get the right care at the right time, making them suffer more heart attacks if it happens. Delayed access to cardiovascular care or, even worse, misdiagnosing heart attacks in women cost us our women’s lives. This could be prevented if healthcare professionals and patients themselves become aware of the unique aspects of heart attacks in women, and we all work to close this gap.
After the conference, I felt this gap in heart health care needed to be closed, and I wanted to be part of this change.
I started to educate myself about women’s heart health and share the knowledge with my network. Then, I began to look for avenues to be part of the change. Therefore, I joined the alliance with extreme passion and excitement, knowing I could be part of the change. I am in my fifth year here, enjoying witnessing the changes happening in front of my eyes, locally, nationally and globally.
Our advocacy for women's heart health has taken different shapes and roads. We educate doctors, the public and even high school students.
We created nine online educational modules to be the first in Canada to educate trainees and healthcare professionals about the unique feature of women’s heart health disease. This is a free and open-access resource you can access anywhere in the world. We aim to see this incorporated into the medical school's curriculum to educate our future generations from the beginning.
Every year, we invite people from across Canada to celebrate with us in the Wear Red Canada campaign. This campaign reminds all women to be mindful, curious, and proactive in managing their heart health and wellness.
Considering Canada's multicultural nature and believing that access to knowledge should be for all, regardless of your mother tongue, language, race or ethnic and cultural background.
We translated the key message in the campaign into 12 different languages, and I am humbled to have my Arabic version have more than 1000 views. For me, this is a success, as it reflects that 1000 people became aware of their heart health.
We also work to change policy and translate existing and new knowledge about cardiovascular health and disease in women to create sex-specific guidelines, tools, and programs for women.
My involvement and commitment to this mission have led me to be nominated as the first Trainee Representative for the CWHHA executive steering committee, where I proudly share my unique perspective and advocate for trainee leadership and research opportunities.
Our global mission is to see this duplicated in every single country in the world as all women's hearts matter.