Title: Women of the ELCA Board Endorses HEART Legislation, Accepts MIF Challenge ELCA NEWS SERVICE
April 3, 2006
Women of the ELCA Board Endorses HEART Legislation, Accepts MIF Challenge 06-052-TL*
ITASCA, Ill. (ELCA) -- Heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases kill more women every year than the next five causes of death combined, according to the American Heart Association. Though more women than men die of the disease, most cardiovascular studies are conducted on men.
Because of such facts, Women of the ELCA's executive board, at its March 23-26 meeting near Chicago, voted unanimously to endorse new federal legislation aimed at fighting heart disease in women. It also authorized Women of the ELCA to write the bill's backers and request co-sponsorship.
"By endorsing the Heart Disease Education, Analysis and Research, and Treatment (HEART) for Women Act and becoming a co- sponsor of this bipartisan legislation, the executive board is taking the women's health initiative into a new arena," said Linda Post Bushkofsky, executive director, Women of the ELCA.
Rallying around the HEART for Women Act is a way to highlight the Women of the ELCA's new health initiative, Raising Up Healthy Women and Girls, Bushkofsky said.
"Staff looks forward to developing a plan to support this groundbreaking legislation throughout the U.S.," she said. "This is a living and breathing example of mobilizing women to act boldly on their faith in Jesus Christ."
The HEART for Women Act was introduced to lawmakers in February by four female senators -- two Democrats and two Republicans. The bill would improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases in women by educating both women and health care providers about the most effective options for women, according to a news release from the health organizations co-sponsoring the bill.
In supporting the bill, Women of the ELCA joins the American Heart Association, Society for Women's Health Research, WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, and the Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc.
Women of the ELCA steps up to a challenge, a celebration
The executive board accepted a challenge from the ELCA's Mission Investment Fund (MIF) to generate 1,000 new individual investment accounts, affirmed plans for the organization's 20th anniversary in 2007, and heard an update regarding the Seventh Triennial Gathering in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The MIF agreed to contribute $25,000 to support the Seventh Triennial Gathering in Salt Lake City if Women of the ELCA participants open 1,000 new individual accounts with MIF before the 2008 gathering. The investments help build the Lutheran church by providing loans for capital projects to mission congregations, established congregations, synods and other ELCA- related organizations.
"Today's women's organization is rooted in the women's missionary societies of the 19th century," Bushkofsky said. "So it's only natural that Women of the ELCA would want to continue that mission emphasis by helping to build Lutheran congregations by entering into this challenge."
The official launch of the challenge is set for June 2006.
Women of the ELCA will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2007 by establishing Bold Women Day, to be observed annually on the fourth Sunday in February. Other plans include an educational trip to Germany in partnership with the ELCA Wittenberg Center, including travel to historic sites of bold Christian women.
Women of the ELCA Triennial Gathering Coordinator Linda McKinsey said plans for the 2008 gathering at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City are progressing. The convention will be held July 8-13 -- a business session July 8-10 and a gathering, including workshops and speakers, July 10-13. The timeframe was meant to reduce costs and time away from home and work for most participants. -- -- --
The home page for Women of the ELCA is at http://www.womenoftheELCA.org/ on the Web.
* Terri Lackey is managing editor of Lutheran Woman Today magazine.
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