Women in Winnipeg, aged 30 and older and at risk of cardiovascular disease, can now be referred by their primary health-care providers to Her Heart Her Way, a free program developed as part of a social impact bond to support women’s heart health, Mental Health and Community Wellness Minister Sarah Guillemard announced today.
“This innovative program is tailored to address the specific and unique heart health needs of women who experience heart health differently than men, especially considering the signs of heart disease in women are more likely to go unrecognized,” said Guillemard. “This social impact bond is designed to reduce the risk of heart disease in women, as measured by improved systolic blood pressure and increased physical activity.”
The prevention program is for Winnipeg women with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure, who want support to change lifestyle risk factors related to diet, weight, physical activity, stress, alcohol or commercial tobacco use.
Women aged 30 and older at risk of cardiovascular disease can be referred to the program if their primary health-care providers determine they meet the program’s eligibility criteria. After an initial assessment, every participant is matched with a mentor and receives ongoing support and guidance toward self-identified goals.
The Victoria Hospital Foundation is partnering with the Manitoba government and the Reh-Fit Centre in Winnipeg on the social impact bond. The foundation will invest $600,000 over three years to enable the delivery of the Her Heart Her Way program, which is jointly offered through the Reh-Fit Centre and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
“We are proud to invest in this important program to support the unique heart health needs of women,” said Nicole Chammartin, executive director, Victoria Hospital Foundation. “We are pleased to work in collaboration with the Manitoba government, Reh-Fit Centre and Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to address one of the most significant health challenges facing women in Manitoba today.”
This is the first time a Manitoba community-led program has been integrated with electronic medical records and other provincial data systems, the minister noted, adding it will vastly improve the way programming is delivered.
“Preventing heart disease risk in women is incredibly important and we know that simple evidence-based interventions, such as increased physical activity and lifestyle coaching, are key to prevention,” said Sue Boreskie, CEO, Reh-Fit Centre. “We are pleased to be a part of this exciting partnership to help Manitoba women have better heart health now and for years to come.”
A social impact bond is an innovative social policy tool that brings together government, the private sector, not-for-profit organizations and other stakeholders to deliver effective solutions focused on prevention. Private investment is initially used to fund the programs and is repaid if social outcomes and cost savings are realized. These types of programs allow the government to explore more innovative solutions while reducing financial risk, with the ultimate goal of delivering better outcomes for Manitobans.
To learn more about social impact bonds, visit https://gov.mb.ca/sib/index.html.
Source: Manitoba government