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The American Heart Association and Macy's Join Forces to Drive Diversity in Medicine
Date:3/9/2009

NEW YORK, March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Heart Association and Macy's today announce the Go Red for Women Multicultural Scholarship, a program designed to support Latinas in pursuit of careers in medicine and increase cultural competence in the healthcare workforce.

The program is an extension of Go Red For Women, the American Heart Association's national movement that incites women to band together to wipe out heart disease, their number one health threat.

Eight New York college students, who meet all other application requirements, will receive a $2,500 scholarship to support them in their studies. Awardees will also get the chance to learn more about the work of the American Heart Association, the largest national, non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to building healthier lives free of heart disease and stroke. Organizers hope the program will inspire Latinas in college to consider a career in medicine. "We're very excited about this scholarship because programs like these encourage students to dream big," says Dr. Lynne Holden. "The Association is in a unique position to expose students to professions they might not have considered before and to shepherd them along the way." Holden, President of Mentoring in Medicine, Inc., is an Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, practices at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and volunteers her time with the American Heart Association.

The Go Red For Women Multicultural Scholarship directly addresses important gaps in treatment that can lead to cardiovascular disease health disparities. Hispanics are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, and like other ethnic groups, also confront barriers to diagnosis and care, receive lower quality treatment and experience worse health outcomes than their Caucasian counterparts.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, factors that contribute to poor health outcomes among Hispanics include language and cultural barriers. The lack of diversity of medical students and healthcare professionals coupled with ineffective cultural competency training continues to produce treatment environments that are biased and contribute to health disparities. Furthermore, data from the American Medical Association suggests that although racial and ethnic minorities comprise 26% of the U.S. population, roughly only 6% of practicing physicians are Latino, African American and Native American.

The Go Red For Women Multicultural Scholarship is made possible by the Macy's Multicultural Fund. Macy's is a national sponsor of Go Red For Women and has helped to raise more than $18 million for the cause since 2004. For more information and to request an application, visit www.AmericanHeart.org/GoRedScholarship or call 212.878.5917. Deadline for entry is April 30, 2009.

About Go Red for Women

Go Red for Women captures the energy, passion, and intelligence of women to work collectively to wipe out heart disease - the No. 1 killer of women. Since 2004, The American Heart Association has fostered Go Red to grow from a grassroots campaign into a vibrant national movement. Using the simple moniker "Love Your Heart," Go Red for Women aims to mobilize women, men, celebrities, healthcare providers and politicians to embrace and elevate the cause of women and heart disease. For more information about Go Red for Women, please call 1- 888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278) or visit GoRedForWomen.org.

About the American Heart Association

Founded in 1924, we're the nation's oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat these diseases - America's No. 1 and No. 3 killers - we fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit americanheart.org.


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SOURCE The American Heart Association
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