WomenHeart, Burlington take heart health on the road

WASHINGTON: WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease and retailer Burlington are conducting the Heart of Style Tour, which is scheduled to run through March, in the third year of their partnership.

WASHINGTON: WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease and retailer Burlington are conducting the Heart of Style Tour, which is scheduled to run through March, in the third year of their partnership.

The initiative will visit select Burlington locations around the country in an effort to educate women about heart disease, which WomenHeart said is the leading cause of death among women. Its aim is to encourage them to take charge of their health.

WomenHeart CEO Lisa Tate said the partnership has benefitted WomenHeart because the group can reach more women through the retailer's promotion of education, treatment, and prevention in its stores and online.

Tate said the campaign has generated $2 million thanks to donations from Burlington and its customers, with an average gift of only a dollar or two. The total shows how many people the organization is reaching, she said.

“Two million women have at least stopped and thought about heart disease,” said Tate.

The campaign uses female patients as community educators and spokeswomen, trained to discuss health locally with other women, as opposed to information coming from a doctor or corporate officer.

Each tour stop features on-site health screenings in a vehicle that is “tricked out,” said Tate.

“We are, with Burlington, combining fun and fashion and a very serious health issue for women,” she said. “That might be more attractive to a customer who might be walking by health screenings all the time.”

WomenHeart is working with Washington, DC-based First Degree Marketing on the campaign. Burlington works with M Booth.

Funds raised by the campaign go to various programs, including an effort to reach Hispanic women through a Spanish-language education initiative. Hispanic women have a high rate of heart disease, but low awareness of their risk, added Tate.

“The only way you can impact women is to get them to understand their risks and take action to prevent heart disease – 85% of heart disease is preventable,” she said. “We're reaching millions of women that would never have access to this information. We are on the ground and in their communities.”

Through March 31, Burlington customers can support women living with heart disease by donating $1 or more when they check out at stores to benefit WomenHeart's mission. Customers who donate will receive 20% off their purchase at 1-800Flowers.com. Burlington will also donate $1 – up to $25,000 – to WomenHeart for every dress sold.

This story was updated on February 11 to correct that WomenHeart is working with First Degree Marketing on the campaign. We regret the error.

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