Cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in Canadian women. Sex and gender differences and disparities with respect to CVD awareness, development, identification, and treatment continue to persist.
In 2018, the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Alliance (CWHHA) was established as a network of experts and advocates to develop and disseminate evidence-informed strategies to transform clinical practice and enhance collaborative action on women’s cardiovascular health in Canada.
Background and Timeline
Two years of planning took place prior to launching the CWHHA in 2018. Here’s a snapshot of the timeline.
April 2016: Women’s Heart Health “Call to Action” Meeting
Hosted by the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre, A “Call to Action” meeting took place the day after the inaugural Canadian Women’s Heart Health Summit. Over 70 key national and international stakeholders participated and a consensus list of 16 priority areas for action was generated, one of which was to “Establish a formal alliance of experts and advocates in women’s heart health to promote partnership, collaboration and implementation of best practices across Canada”.
October 2016: Stakeholder Planning Meeting
Validation was received through consensus voting by meeting members that the CWHHC would take on the leadership of Alliance development.
October 2016 - March 2018: Alliance Development
An environmental scan of successful professional and volunteer networks took place to identify and incorporate best practices related to stakeholder engagement, governance structure, legal considerations, marketing, branding, and promotion, and network sustainability.
April 2018: CWHHA Kick-Off Meeting
Hosted by the CWHHC, the Alliance kick-off meeting took place at the 2018 CWHHS validating the governance structure, overarching themes, and priority action items of the Alliance.
May 2018: Call for Expression of Interested for Working Group Chairs
August 2018: Call for Expression of Interest for Alliance Members
September 2018: Formal launch of the CWHHA
The CWHHA is powered by the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute with funding support from the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation.