Largest conference in the world dedicated to women’s heart, brain and vascular health kicks off in Vancouver.
VANCOUVER, April 27, 2023 - National and international experts, health professionals, and women living with heart disease and the effects of stroke will gather in Vancouver this week to attend The Canadian Women’s Heart Health Summit. The theme of the two-day summit is: Women’s Heart, Brain and Vascular Health: We Know the Gaps; How Will We Close Them?
“Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of premature death for women and we’d like that to change,” says Karin Humphries, co-chair of the Summit and associate professor emeritus in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. “Groups like Heart & Stroke have underscored how gaps in awareness, research, diagnosis and care threaten women’s heart and brain health and what needs to be done. This Summit is a chance to bring the best and brightest together to collaborate on solutions.”
The event, co-hosted by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute’s (UOHI) Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre (CWHHC), Heart & Stroke, the University of British Columbia, the Centre for Cardiovascular Innovation and the Leslie Diamond Women’s Heart Health Clinic, is the largest conference in the world exclusively dedicated to the unique aspects of heart, brain, and vascular health of women.
“We organized this event to cover eight themes which we are calling ‘opportunities to act’,” explains Tara Sedlak, co-chair of the Summit, medical director of the Leslie Diamond Women’s Heart Health Clinic and clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia. “We are confident the speakers in these eight topic areas will inspire rich discussion amongst delegates and clear paths to move us towards action.”
The eight themes are practicing cultural humility and embedding cultural safety into practice, emerging risk factors and opportunities to act, screening and diagnosis, acute care, health systems, mental health and cognitive impairment, menopause and pregnancy guidelines as well as rehabilitation, recovery and support.
At the center of the Summit is a recognition of the experience and knowledge that comes from living, or caring for someone, with heart disease or stroke. Women with lived experience are an important part of the Summit, as organizers, speakers and participants. “It’s important women understand they need to advocate for themselves,” says Michelle Logeot, a woman with lived experience who will present her talk, Not taking no for an answer, on the first day of the Summit. “I hope that by sharing my experience of multiple misdiagnoses and the inequities I faced trying to get the care I needed will lead to solutions that prevent it from happening to other women.”
“Transforming the state of women’s heart and brain health will involve changing policies, systems, attitudes and behaviours,” says Doug Roth, CEO of Heart & Stroke. “We will continue to take a collaborative approach that considers health equity and Indigenous wellbeing, expands research, raises awareness and catalyzes efforts to transform health systems to improve how heart and brain care is provided to women.”
“A unified, holistic, national approach is the necessary step to ensure women are as well informed and well cared for as men,” says Thais Coutinho, MD, head of the Division of Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation at the UOHI, chair of CWHHC, and co-chair of the Summit. “In recent years, with support from its national alliance and provincial and federal governments, the CWHHC has been working to lay the foundation for a national strategy to improve women’s heart health in Canada. This weekend in Vancouver is an opportunity for us all to collaborate on what happens next.”
Visit womensheartsummit.ca for more information or to review the program.
Members of the media are invited to attend this unique event to learn about the latest research findings, emerging trends, and strategies and action plans required to advance women’s health in Canada. The Summit is taking place April 28-29, 2023, at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Suite 300-999, Canada Place, in downtown Vancouver, BC.
To request access to pre-recorded presentations, attend a live presentation, or to arrange an interview with a Summit delegate, please contact the liaisons below.
Leigh B. Morris
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Heart & Stroke