WomenHeart appoints three new members to its board of directors


WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease has announced the appointment of three new members to its board of directors in a press release. All three are themselves women heart disease survivors, aiming to bring a personal perspective to their service.

The three women—Dina Piersawl, Jerri Anne Johnson and Rhonda Monroe—are all volunteer community educators, advocates and support network coordinators. They were trained as WomenHeart Champions at the WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, USA.

“We are very excited to welcome the three new Board members to our leadership team,” said Mary McGowan, chief executive officer of WomenHeart. “As heart disease survivors and patient advocates, they bring a deep passion and understanding about the struggles that other women have experienced living with heart disease,” she continued. “Their unique journey and special skill set will help ensure that WomenHeart continues to provide the education, advocacy, and support needed by all women living with or at risk for heart disease,” she added.

Dina Piersawl is a chemist with more than 25 years of experience as a consultant for the hair care, skin care and cosmetics industry. As a WomenHeart Champion, Dina shares her personal heart story at local, regional and national levels. She has also been interviewed for print and broadcast news stories on heart disease in women, including The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2011 and Windy City Live on ABC 7, Chicago, USA. She attended the first White House Community Leaders Briefing on Cardiovascular Health in 2012 with other WomenHeart Champions and WomenHeart leadership. As a WomenHeart Board Member, her intention is to advocate on behalf of women’s heart health with a special focus on women of colour.

Jerri Anne Johnson has 26 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry in various roles. She began working with WomenHeart in 2009 when she was the director of the new Women’s Heart Health Initiative at Abbott. In that role, she worked with healthcare providers and community groups internationally to deliver education about heart disease in women. While at Abbott, she served on the WomenHeart Corporate Advisory Committee. She accepted the 2013 Wenger Award for Excellence in Corporate Leadership on behalf of Abbott for launching the Women’s Heart Health Initiative in collaboration with the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. As a WomenHeart Board Member, Jerri Anne hopes to drive awareness about the connection between preeclampsia and other pregnancy complications and the increased risk of early heart disease, as well as the importance of women with heart disease participating in clinical trials.

Rhonda Monroe is a former economist and financial analyst turned health advocate. She has survived three heart attacks and a stroke, and lives with coexisting heart conditions. As a spokesperson for women’s heart health, she has been featured twice in TIME magazine, on The Today Show, and in a Bayer Aspirin advert. She has served on the Board of Directors of WVU University Healthcare, West Virginia, USA. Her board service and grassroots efforts to combat heart disease in West Virginia earned her the 2012 West Virginia Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.