Heart foundation in New Jersey benefits from court-ordered funding during National Heart Month


2000 antitrust lawsuit enriching program for women at risk for heart disease

Ewing Township, NJ, February 10, 2004 -- Nearly 36 months after the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice settled for its share of nearly $1 million in a multi-state antitrust lawsuit with shoe retailer Nine West, grant money from that settlement has finally found a much needed home in time for National Heart Month. At the offices of the Women's Heart Foundation in Ewing Township, New Jersey, Bonnie Arkus, the Executive Director of the Women's Heart Foundation, is wasting little time putting $200,000 in funds from a state grant to work with both public and professional programs for women at risk for heart disease.

"Of this settlement, I believe this is the only money that's exclusively devoted to women and heart disease," says Arkus. "There are several high-profile national programs in place that tell women that heart disease is their #1 medical risk, but these programs often end at the state level," said Arkus. "We're putting our money to use a little differently," she said.

In March of 2001, New Jersey's portion of a nationwide antitrust litigation settlement with the shoe retailer Nine West, was distributed to two state agencies that provide services to women in need. One of the agencies was the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and its Healthy Hearts Program. Since then the state has opened an Office of Women's Health which is using the Women's Heart Foundation to execute a statewide program called "Take New Jersey Women to Heart".

At the time of the settlement, then Division of Criminal Justice Director Kathryn Flicker said that "it seemed more than just and appropriate that money taken illegally from women through price fixing would be returned to them in this way, so that all women across this state as well as those across the nation will have the opportunity to receive a benefit.

Using a combination of public and professional education, the Foundation hopes to introduce new care interventions for which it will act as an intermediary with its growing list of health partners. One such program is Teen Esteem, a study on teen obesity at Trenton High School that is scheduled for September of this year. Another program is a series of professional nursing courses that present cardiac care models that better fit the special needs of women. Upon completion of the CU-accredited course, nurses become "gender-certified."

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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