Touching hearts. Saving Lives.
One of the most common questions we get about The Heart2Heart Foundation is how we are different from other organizations focused on heart disease. The answer is actually quite simple. Our primary focus is on early detection and we keep the funds we raise in the communities we serve.
After realizing there was no organization dedicated to addressing heart disease prevention in her community, heart attack survivor Sheila Caldwell felt that her mission was to help more women and men learn their risk for the disease and how to win the fight against our #1 killer. Sheila along with a group of women including co-founder Deb King created the concept of what would become The Heart2Heart Foundation. With an extensive background with international, national and local nonprofits Sheila and her husband, Bill, made the decision to incorporate the organization with South Carolina in November of 2012. Thus began the journey of our volunteer-led organization.
Our focus comes down to three basic elements:
1) AWARENESS - With only about half of the women in the US aware that heart disease is our greatest health threat, the foundation of our work in the community is to educate adults and youth about the disease but - more importantly - how positive lifestyle changes can prevent it! When you consider that about 80% of the risk factors that lead to heart disease can be prevented or managed, we have HOPE! We have the power to change this!
2) ACTION - It's astonishing to think that most of us find out that we have heart disease only after we have a heart or, worse, our family learns of it when we die. Studies have shown that through prevention, early detection and timely interventions, about half of the 600,000+ adults we lose each year to heart disease could have been saved. We want to move women and men from awareness to action by helping them learn their individual risk and the steps to take next to prevent heart attack, stroke, and premature death.
3) ADVOCACY - Women are a powerful force for change and we want to harness that power to save lives. It begins with each of us: understanding our own risk, learning and adopting lifestyle choices to improve our heart health and then sharing that with our family, friends and community. Even today, women's heart health is still under-researched, under-diagnosed and under-treated. We need women who will lend their voices to sharing this message!
The Heart2Heart Foundation launches with our first gala celebration during Heart Month. We partnered with local health providers like Piedmont Medical Center, Carolina Cardiology Associates & Palmetto Cardiology of York County to begin our local outreach.
In 2014, we began working with the Office of SC Governor Nikki Haley and SC DHEC to launch our heart health screening campaign to other areas of the state.
Demand for our programs continued to grow in our area.
This was a big year for us as we launched the new Statewide Screening Day with seven events across the state. We also worked with local schools on Katie Couric's Fed Up Education Campaign. In the fall, we began our collaboration with Irish Heart Awareness to educate the community about coronary artery calcium scans.
While our founding mission focuses on women's health, it became glaringly clear that to make a difference in the overall health of our community, we needed a robust program to reach our youth as well. This year, we partnered with the Rock Hill School District to launch our annual Back2School Block Party
Our outreach and impact continues as we receive more opportunities to share our message with more communities across the state of South Carolina.
In 2017, The Heart2Heart Foundation was named Outstanding Community Partner by Rock Hill Schools.
In 2018, our speaking and exhibit opportunities included large conferences and events in Charlotte, Columbia and Charleston.
This year, we began recruiting women for our #RedHeartMamas group. Our Statewide Screening Day was expanded to the entire month of February.
Since our launch in 2013, through the help of our incredible group of volunteers and program partners , we have shared our message of prevention and hope with more than 35,000 adults and youth. In addition almost 7,600 women and men have learned their personal risk for heart disase!