Accomplishments of the Women and Heart Disease Task Force
The Women and Heart Disease Task Force met for the first time on December 11, 2000. The task force discussed the legislation creating the task force, the role of the task force and the funds appropriated to accomplish the tasks outlined in the legislation. Due to the fact that the task force had a tremendous amount of research to conduct, the members believed that the best use of the resources provided by the 2000 Florida Legislature would be to begin a public awareness campaign.
A billboard campaign was developed and displayed throughout Florida through the non-profit Florida Outdoor Advertising Agency. The task force, in partnership with the Florida Department of Health Communications Office developed the billboard design. The billboard depicted five women of various ages and ethnic backgrounds with the message Heart disease is the number one killer of women and the message to contact your doctor or the American Heart Association at 1-800-AHA-USA1 or www.americanheart.org . The American Heart Association, Florida Affiliate agreed to collect data on the number of calls received due to the billboard campaign. The billboard logo was developed in-kind by the Department of Health Communications Office and was displayed throughout Florida.
The second phase of the public awareness campaign consisted of public service announcements (PSAs) on the Florida Cable Television Association (FCTA), which provided airtime on cable throughout Florida (Lifetime, MTV, ESPN, A&E, etc.,) at a 4:1 match of the funding. The American Heart Association provided the PSA in-kind. The Love of Life public service announcement aired for eight weeks during May and June of 2001.
Educating Florida Health Care Professionals and County Health Department Directors
The Women and Heart Disease Task Force decided to begin the education of Florida health care professionals by distributing a packet of information regarding women and heart disease to targeted Florida Physicians. Almost 9,000 licensed physicians, cardiologists, obestetricians/gynecologists and pediatricians throughout Florida and 67 County Health Department Directors/Administrators received an informational packet containing, a letter from Robert G Brooks, M.D., Secretary of the Florida Department of Health regarding women and heart disease and the task force, a short women and heart disease risk assessment, a copy of the American Heart Association Clinical Guidelines for Heart Disease, and examples of four patient pamphlets available from the American Heart Association. (The American Heart Association contributed materials to this educational effort.)
Department of Health - Women and Heart Disease Web Page
The Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention developed this Web page for the Women and Heart Disease Task Force. The web page provides information to the public regarding the legislation enacting the task force, the members, the report, pertinent data regarding women and heart disease, as well educational materials regarding women and heart disease.