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Brigham and Women's Cardiovascular Wellness Service

12/1/2010, 4:51 a.m.
Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States, accounting...

Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States, accounting for more deaths nationwide than all cancers combined? Did you also know that in most cases, heart disease is fully preventable?

 The Brigham and Women’s Hospital Cardiovascular Wellness Service was founded for this very cause — to prevent heart disease and promote heart health, particularly within the Boston community. Centrally located in Mission Hill, the Cardiovascular Wellness Service not only hosts free programs, events and screenings at the hospital, but also takes prevention programming directly into neighboring communities, partnering with organizations including Body by Brandy and Roxbury Community College to provide free, impactful services to help prevent heart disease.

The Wellness Service’s overall goal is to ensure that all Boston area residents have access to the best care possible and understand their health risks and needs, through its four primary components of clinical services, community outreach, research and medical education. The Service’s highly trained cardiovascular wellness team includes a wide range of medical and behavioral health providers, including cardiologists, nutritionists, exercise physiologists, psychologists, yoga instructors and pharmacists, who help patients and participants quit smoking, achieve a healthy weight, reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, exercise regularly and manage stress.

Women and heart disease:

While heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women nationwide, heart disease in women demands increased focused attention. In women, more than one third of all deaths are the result of heart disease and in the U.S., more women die of heart disease than men. This is the result of many factors, including the lack of awareness of risk factors and symptoms of heart disease in women, as well a lack of focus on personal health and well-being.

The Cardiovascular Wellness Service has set out to reduce the disparity of heart disease in women by offering various screenings and programs in Boston to help encourage women to make necessary lifestyle changes to prevent or reduce their risk of heart disease. Through screenings, women can learn their personal risk for heart disease, receive individual counseling on lowering risk factors, and learn about heart disease prevention in women. To view a list of upcoming screenings, programs, and events for women, please visit the Calendar of Events at www.brighamandwomens.org/cvwellness.

If you are a woman and interested in weight loss or reducing you risk for heart disease, please read below about the FREE Loving Your Heart and Beat the Holiday Bulge programs described below.

Loving Your Heart:

The Cardiovascular Wellness Service has partnered with Body by Brandy in Roxbury, to support a free, 12-week weight loss program created by and for women. This program includes two free screenings for cardiovascular disease, free weekly weight loss classes and a free three-month membership to the Body by Brandy Fitness Center, to help you reach all of your weight loss goals. If you are interested in joining this program, please visit the calendar of events at www.brighamandwomens.org/cvwellness or e-mail bwhcvwellness@partners.org.

Beat the Holiday Bulge:

To extend its reach throughout and beyond Boston, the Cardiovascular Wellness Service has created an Online Wellness Program that is free to all users nationwide. This program is a comprehensive tool that uses a unique, friendly and interactive approach to educating, engaging and empowering users on their path to building a healthy heart.

As part of its seasonal offering, the Online Wellness Program has taken the shape of a fun, exciting program known as “Beat the Holiday Bulge” — a free four-week, results-oriented weight management challenge to anyone looking for a little extra help managing their weight this holiday season. The program runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 3, 2010, and all participants who complete the entire four-week course automatically qualify to win an iPod or $75 gift certificate to New Balance.

Time is limited, so be sure to enroll by the second week of  December to participate in the full, four-week program. Registration is quick and easy, so visit www.bwhcvwellnessonline.com to sign up today.

To learn more about the Cardiovascular Wellness Service and their many free offering, visit www.brighamandwomens.org/cvwellness, or contact them directly at bwhcvwellness@partners.org or 617-582-4821.