Press Release

Barbra Streisand Hosts Tea to Inspire Hollywood Stars to Advocate for Women’s Heart Health

LOS ANGELES (May 19, 2015) – Barbra Streisand, co-founder of the Women’s Heart Alliance (WHA), hosted a diverse group of celebrities, including Academy Award winner Helen Hunt, Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch, Golden Globe nominee Virginia Madsen, Ginnifer Goodwin, Sarah Chalke, Fran Drescher, Amanda Crew, Josh Brener, Danielle Panabaker, Carly Pope and Jimmy O. Yang, at an intimate celebrity tea at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills Monday to encourage Hollywood elites to lend their strong voices to the fight against women’s heart disease.

Ms. Streisand, who became involved in advocating for women’s heart health after learning about the medical disparity in the management of women’s heart disease, spoke passionately about the need for more ambassadors to fight the number one killer of women nationwide and worldwide.

“Use your powerful voice in the battle for women’s hearts and lives,” said Barbra Streisand. “We need ambassadors like you to educate women and men about the huge and largely preventable toll heart disease takes on mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and neighbors nationwide. I’m asking you to get screened yourselves and to use your social media channels to ask women to do the same, so they know if they are at risk and can act to reduce their risk. I’m asking you to help inform and empower our nation to wake up, take action and change the course of this preventable, yet deadly disease.”

Ms. Streisand and her cofounder, Ronald O. Perelman, Chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated, launched the Women’s Heart Alliance to empower women to take action against heart disease, to engage doctors in improving the diagnosis and treatment of the disease among women and to garner support for lifesaving policy change.

Dr. Noel Bairey Merz, director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Health Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and medical advisor to the Women’s Heart Alliance, spoke to the celebrity group about the current landscape in women’s heart health, where women’s hearts are under-researched and the disease is more likely to be misdiagnosed and untreated, given women’s symptoms are often different from men’s. Today, women comprise just 35 percent of participants in all heart-related studies, yet the disease kills one in three women, said Dr. Bairey Merz.

British A. Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of WHA, shared details about the array of activities slated for the year and how the celebrities can engage with the organization.

“There are many ways to get involved, from promoting our cause on social media to testifying on Capitol Hill, from signing a petition for increased research funding to appearing at a heart screening event to encourage young women to get their hearts checked,” said Ms. Robinson. “People’s lives are being diminished right now and you can help us draw attention to the gaps in diagnosing and treating women’s heart disease, and to close them once and for all.”

Psychologist, author, seminary professor and media personality Dr. Robin Smith spoke to the crowd about the unique connection between the body, heart and soul in women and why they need to care for and feed both when considering their health. “As women, we must make a commitment to be warriors in the battle for our health needs. A healthy heart begins from the inside out – and heart health and damage are not only cardiac issues, but issues of the soul and spirit.”

WHA’s campaign, Fight the Ladykiller, encourages women to talk to their healthcare providers and empower them with a single, meaningful action – to #GetHeartChecked. The initiative also encourages the medical community to discuss women’s heart health with patients and proactively address the screening, diagnostic and therapeutic differences of a woman’s heart. Seeking meaningful policy change, the campaign also urges Congress and federal agencies to fund women’s heart health research.


The Women’s Heart Alliance was founded to help eliminate deaths and disability from women’s heart disease. It is a unique collaboration between Barbra Streisand and Ronald O. Perelman and two of America’s leading medical institutions—the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

The Women’s Heart Alliance is a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity.