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Women's Heart Awareness Program

31st October 2018

A promising Women’s Heart Awareness Program has commenced in Lismore to educate Aboriginal women on the signs and risks of heart attacks and promote steps to better heart health.

Womens Heart Health Program - Lismore 2018

Women in the community accessed educational workshopsinformation and support from health practitioners at the Rekindling the Spirit Jullums Lismore Aboriginal Medical Service.

The program was delivered by the Medical Outreach Indigenous Chronic Disease Program (MOICDP)-funded multidisciplinary team including an exercise physiologist, diabetes educator and dietitiana cardiac nurse and staff from Lismore Base Hospital, and Jullums practice manager.

A group of 33 Aboriginal women between the ages of 30 and 50 were the first to enrol in the three-month program with the aim of receiving education on the risks and signs of heart attack and steps to manage and improve their heart health.

The program commenced with workshops that involved each participant attending information stations with different health practitioners to discuss and learn how to improve their heart health. Sessions included education on risk factors, rish signs, nutrition, exercise, smoking cessation and stress reduction.

Each participant left the workshop with an information booklet to complete over the following three months to track their progress and results. At the end of the program, patients returned for a follow-up workshop where results, stories, feedback and celebrations were shared.

Initial program outcomes are very promising with many participants increasing their daily exercise, improving their diet (and that of their family’s) and reports of feeling more educated on heart health. 

After being so well received by the Aboriginal community, the Women’s Heart Awareness Program is now an ongoing event at Jullums.

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