On Monday, May 7, 2018 WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease hosted its 18th annual Wenger Awards. Each year, the Wenger Awards honor those who have made extraordinary contributions to women’s cardiovascular health. Honorees Rep. Debbie Dingell, (D-MI), Dr. Roxana Mehran, Chandra Wilson, and Dr. Clyde Yancy were honored Monday evening at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. and actor Lamman Rucker served as the Master of Ceremonies.
The Wenger Awards are named for Nanette Kass Wenger, MD, a pioneer in women’s cardiovascular medicine and research. This year’s theme was “Fighting for Every Heart,” as heart disease does not discriminate against age, race, or socioeconomic status. We are all in the fight together, and this year’s honorees continue to fight tirelessly to highlight the need for more research, advocacy, and education for women with heart disease.
“We are thrilled with the turnout of this year’s Wenger Awards,” said WomenHeart CEO Mary McGowan. “The energy and inspiration radiating in the Mellon Auditorium breathed a new energy into all of us advocates for women’s heart health. I was overcome by the uplifting speeches, powerful stories, and renewed sense of our mission—providing support to the millions of women nationwide with or at risk for heart disease.”
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, though only about half of all women are aware of this fact. With 1 in 4 women dying every year from heart disease, it is crucial to raise awareness and understand the differences in heart disease between men and women.
The Awards honored the following people for their extraordinary contributions to women’s heart health:
- Chandra Wilson: Excellence in Media Award——The actress, director, and philanthropist best known for her portrayal of Dr. Miranda Bailey on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy received this award for her commitment to improving the lives of women with heart disease through her work in television. With millions of viewers watching, Wilson served as an empowering female figure advocating persistently for her own heart health. “It is my privilege to portray Dr. Miranda Bailey and her journey with heart health. Any opportunity that I get to raise women’s awareness regarding advocating for own health, is time and energy well spent.” –Chandra Wilson
- Excellence in Public Service Award—The Honorable Debbie Dingell (D-MI)—The Congresswoman received this award for her tireless work advocating for access to care, patient protections, and essential health benefits for women with heart disease. “For too long, diseases in women have been treated differently than in men. WomenHeart has done critical work to ensure that every woman has equal access to the healthcare, education, treatment and prevention that can save her life. Dr. Wenger is a true champion and trailblazer for women’s heart health, bringing critical awareness and resources to educate women of their risk of heart disease. Her work is saving women’s lives, and it’s an honor to be recognized with an award in her name.”– Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.
- Excellence in Medical Leadership Award Dr. Roxana Mehran—The academician, clinician, researcher, and internationally renowned influencer in the field of interventional cardiovascular disease received this award for her work co-founding the Women in Innovations initiative, which focuses on mentoring the next generation of female interventional cardiologists to reduce gender disparity in cardiovascular care. “Dr. Nanette Wenger is a role model of mine and to so many in the field of cardiology. I am humbled to be considered along with the others who have received this award over the years, and know there is ever more we can do together to advance the treatment of women with cardiovascular disease.” –Dr. Roxana Mehran.
- Excellence in Medical Research Award Dr. Clyde Yancy—Chief of Cardiology at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, and Associate Director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital received this award for his commitment to identifying differences in cardiac treatment by sex/race/ethnicity and working to improve diagnosis and treatment in African Americans with heart disease. “The conviction of WomenHeart to endorse the efforts of all of the honorees generates a sense of deep gratitude and offers a catalyst for more research, education, and advocacy. But to do so with the namesake of Dr. Wenger and the grace, dignity, and courage that she portrays defines a career moment.” –Dr. Clyde Yancy
WomenHeart: National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease. 1100 17th St NW #500, Washington, DC 20036. (202) 728-7199.