Being an independent director on the National Heart Foundation board has been ‘out of this world’ for Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers partner Alice Tay.
One of 12 outstanding Canberra women to receive Heart Foundation ACT’s Women with Heart Award at a luncheon at the Water’s Edge restaurant, Alice has found the experience rewarding and illuminating.
“It’s an organisation that is well managed, it’s got a very dedicated board. Everything done has been of a high standard, with great advice. We consult widely with donors, staff and stakeholders. The way we do strategy and communications – I’ve never seen anything like that. It’s quite amazing,” she said.
She’s learned anything is possible, and that with a ‘good, clear strategy you can achieve lots of things’.
She has also learned more about a disease which for women is a ‘silent killer’ and not discussed much.
“I didn’t know about the high rate of heart disease among women,” she said, adding that many were not aware of the signs for what is a preventable disease.
Heart Foundation ACT CEO Tony Stubbs said the Foundation had a new three-year strategy to fight cardiovascular disease.
“Nationally, our vision is for an Australia free of heart disease. The One Heart Strategy shapes the way we reduce the impact of risk factors, how we support Australians affected by heart disease and how we fund ground-breaking research,” said Mr Stubbs.
Marg McManus, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Cardiology Rehabilitation and Outpatients, at Canberra Hospital, told the luncheon that heart disease was a leading killer of Australian women.
“Although almost half of all deaths from heart attacks are women, only one in two women are confident they would know what to do if they were having a heart attack,” Mrs McManus said.
“Women are more likely to experience atypical symptoms of a heart attack (such as jaw, shoulder, neck or back pain). Educating women about the warning signs of heart attack and what to do if they experience symptoms is key.
“Highlighting these warning signs, along with increasing awareness of risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and being overweight are essential to improving the heart health of Australian women.”
Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health in the ANU College of Health and Medicine, Professor Emily Banks said that it was essential women understood the risks.
“Women aged 45 and over need to have a regular heart check with their health professional so they can get the best possible support to keep their hearts and brains healthy. Heart health is women’s business,” she said.
Other women honoured with Awards, now in their third year, were:
- Genevieve Bond, Dixon Advisory, a corporate supporter of Heart Foundation ACT
- Heather Chadwick, Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse and Heart Foundation ACT Ambassador
- Daniela Gagliardi, Heart Failure Care initiative, Capital Health Network
- Julie Griffin, Owner, Curves Weston
- Emma Ryan, Heart Foundation Big Heart Appeal Supporter
- Pearle Taverner, Cardiac Research Registered Nurse at the Canberra Hospital for approximately 25 years
- Kathleen Moorby, Health Manager, Heart Foundation ACT
- Nicole Freene, Yeddung Gauar Cardiac Rehabilitation Group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
- Laura Tchilinguirian, ABC Radio Canberra Presenter
- Joy Wheatley, Long-term Heart Foundation ACT Supporter (20 years+)
- Melanie Glover, Long-term Heart Foundation ACT Volunteer