In mid-July, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) sent a letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), calling on the agency to create a program entitled the “Black Women’s Healthy Heart Program,” which would focus directly on increasing awareness of both the risks to and prevention tools available for Black women.
“Throughout my time in Congress, I have led multiple efforts to increase funding for programs dedicated to preventing heart disease, including securing over three billion dollars for FY2020 for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and $45 million dollars for CDC’s WISEWOMAN program, which provides heart disease screening for low-income women,” said Rep. Rush. “However, given that Black women, in particular, face a much higher risk of heart disease than other demographics, I believe it is critical that the NIH create a program specifically focused on the heart health of this vulnerable group.
“With 50,000 Black mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, and cousins dying every year, it is past time that we acknowledge and address how cardiovascular disease is disproportionately affecting Black women across the country.”