Press Release

Ohio State University and Women’s Heart Alliance Partner to Boost Student Awareness of Women’s Leading Killers, Heart Disease and Stroke

“Heart Healthy, Buckeye Strong” includes heart health screenings, a performance from the Ohio State Marching Band and a Scarlet-out during the Ohio State-Northwestern football game

COLUMBUS, Ohio (October 28, 2016) — The Ohio State University is holding several events this weekend and in November to educate and empower young women about their number one killers—heart disease and stroke—as a part of its new partnership with the Women’s Heart Alliance (WHA).

The unique collaboration between Ohio State and WHA educates young women about heart disease, its toll on women and its risk factors and encourages healthy behaviors and regular heart screenings. Risk factors for heart disease and stroke are increasing the fastest among young women, and death rates from heart disease and stroke have also risen in recent years among this population.

The partnership kicks off with several heart-healthy activities on Friday, October 28, including a campus heart health screening. On Saturday, October 29, the Ohio State football game against Northwestern will be dedicated to heart health and celebrate the partnership’s theme, “Heart Healthy, Buckeye Strong.” Fans can also enter to win a Fitbit by texting “Brutus” to 228466 and guessing the number of steps Brutus Buckeye will take on game day.

“At Ohio State, we are committed to developing the whole person—from our students’ minds to their hearts—and our partnership with the WHA is essential to this goal,” said Ohio State President Michael V. Drake. “Together, we try to educate our Buckeyes on how to be responsible for all aspects of their health and well-being. As the prevalence of heart disease risk factors continues to rise across the country, it is important for us to arm our students with the tools and information they need to protect themselves from this disease.”

On Saturday, fans will Scarlet-out Ohio Stadium for heart health and the Ohio State Marching Band will offer a salute to heart health as part of its pre-game show. During the Ohio State-Northwestern football game, fans will see and hear information about heart health on the Jumbotron, during announcements and in special features and inserts in the program. Fans will be encouraged to remember heart healthy lifestyle choices: be active, eat healthy, avoid tobacco and manage stress.

“For too long, we’ve been conditioned to see heart disease as an old man’s problem. But through this partnership, we are coming together to make heart health a young woman’s priority,” said WHA Co-founder Barbra Streisand. “Because even though heart disease can be deadly, it’s also largely preventable. Students at Ohio State and across the country need to feel empowered to fight back—it’s never too soon to act to prevent heart disease.”

Heart health screening events for students, conducted by the Ohio State College of Nursing, will take place on campus throughout the year, including on October 28 and November 2, when students will be screened for heart disease through biometric measurements like blood pressure, heart rate and body mass index. The 15-minute screening helps students, especially young women, understand their individual risks for heart disease. Ohio State and WHA will also collect and analyze heart data through the heart health screening to learn more about young women and heart disease.

“We are thrilled to work with the WHA to bring awareness of the importance of lifestyle habits for heart health to our students, as part of our efforts to be the healthiest campus in the world,” said Associate Vice President for Health Promotion, Chief Wellness Officer and Dean of the Ohio State College of Nursing, Bernadette Melnyk. “Women often don’t realize they are at great risk, and we can help women live longer, healthier lives through education.”

 “Despite the enormous toll of heart disease and stroke on women, 45 percent of women are uninformed about their leading killer,” said WHA Co-founder and Chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated, Ronald O. Perelman.[i] “We can and must do more to reduce the number of women dying and suffering from heart disease and reaching young women is among our top priorities.”

On Nov. 19 and 20, a codeathon called HACKOHI/O 2016 will kick off with 750 participants competing in teams to develop heart health-related solutions, such as a heart health related app that utilizes wearable devices.

“Heart disease kills more women in the United States in one year than all cancers combined,” said WHA Chief Executive Officer British A. Robinson. [ii] “We want to empower women to take their heart health into their own hands–especially younger women and minorities. Through the Ohio State-WHA partnership and others, we are boosting the awareness and education necessary to fight this epidemic.”

WHA and Ohio State’s campus education activities are part of their commitments to the Million Hearts® initiative, a joint effort of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Million Hearts®, with an ambitious goal to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Other Ohio State organizations supporting partnership activities include Student Life, Greek Life, Ohio State Athletics and the Ross Heart Hospital in the Wexner Medical Center. Congressional Representative Joyce Beatty (Ohio-03) is also a supporter of the collaboration.


About the Women’s Heart Alliance

The Women’s Heart Alliance (WHA) was formed to raise awareness, encourage action and drive new research to fight women’s heart disease. It’s a unique collaboration between 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—and two major philanthropists and leaders in business and entertainment, Barbra Streisand and Ronald O. Perelman. Learn more at, and on Facebook @Womens Heart Alliance, Twitter @WHA and Instagram @womensheartalliance.

About The Ohio State University

Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 65,000 students (including 59,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 15 colleges, 80 centers and nearly 200 majors and specialties, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.


[i] Mosca L, Mochari-Greenberger H, Dolor RJ, Newby LK, Robb KJ. Twelve-year follow-up of American women’s awareness of cardiovascular disease risk and barriers to heart health. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality Outcomes. 2010;3:120-7.

[ii] Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu J, and Tejada-Vera B, “Deaths: Final Data for 2014,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Hyattsville, MD: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics. 2016;65(4). Available from:

The Ohio State University: Melissa Weber,, 614-327-6024 (cell)
Women’s Heart Alliance: Kat Mavengere,, 202-641-6184 (cell)