Barbra Streisand, co-founder of the Women’s Heart Alliance, was in the nation’s capitol last week to deliver the prestigious J. Edward Rall Cultural Lecture at the National Institutes of Health and raise awareness about women’s heart health and cardiovascular disease (CVD), which kills more women each year in the U.S. than all cancers combined.

Barbra Streisand at the lectern for the J. Edward Rall Cultural Lecture

In her talk, Ms. Streisand spoke about the urgent need for sex-specific research and health equity for women to reduce preventable deaths from heart disease, which claims the lives of nearly 400,000 women each year. Previous Rall Lecture speakers include luminaries such as the Dalai Lama, Maya Angelou and Yo-Yo Ma.

“For too long cardiovascular disease has been considered a man’s disease – not just from a patient perspective, but also in the way it’s approached in prevention, treatment and research. Yet a woman is dying of CVD roughly every 80 seconds,” Ms. Streisand says. "I urge our policymakers to ensure that women’s heart disease, the number one killer of women, is treated as a national priority. "

NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, Ms. Streisand, and NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci

The noted singer, actress, director and philanthropist co-founded the Women’s Heart Alliance in 2014. Through the organization, she has built on the work she embarked on with her founding of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles in 2012.

“The WHA has worked tirelessly to empower women to take their heart health into their own hands through education and awareness-raising,” says CEO British Robinson. “But there is still more work to do. We want to change research practices to ensure women are represented in the lab and the clinic; ensure that women receive quality care, and that every health care provider knows how to provide it; and increase the odds that women will survive a heart attack or stroke.”

The Women’s Heart Alliance (WHA) was formed to raise awareness, encourage action and drive new research to fight women’s heart disease. It is a unique collaboration between two of America’s leading medical institutions – the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center – and two major philanthropists and leaders in business and entertainment, Barbra Streisand and Ronald O. Perelman. Learn more at www.womensheartalliance.org.

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