Monday, April 21, 2008

babs' $5M gift for cardiovascular research

LOS ANGELES (April 16, 2008) – A bold new resource for women’s heart health, The Barbra Streisand Women’s Cardiovascular Research and Education Program at Cedars-Sinai, has been created with a philanthropic gift of $5 million. The gift brings to nearly $16 million the money raised from her recent concert tours she has directed to charitable distribution in the areas of education, the environment, women’s health, and other key civic concerns.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of women,” says Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. “It kills nearly 500,000 women in the U.S. each year, more than all cancers combined. The medical system has failed to recognize female-pattern heart attack symptoms; current testing and treatments are geared toward male physiology.”

Ms. Streisand, who has contributed to women’s health programs through the Streisand Foundation since 1986, explained: “Women need to be educated about female cardiovascular disease, and the medical community must be propelled toward change. Just like with breast cancer, the impetus must come from women themselves striving to become empowered to reduce their risks for heart disease.”

Streisand’s endowment will provide permanent funding for research and education at the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Heart Center, which will empower women with vital information about female cardiovascular disease and raise awareness of the disease within the medical community. It will expand current and future research efforts and create breakthrough diagnostics, treatments and technologies. It will facilitate better understanding of gender differences in heart disease, with the aim of improving treatment options for women at risk for, or suffering from heart disease.

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