Coalition of Prominent Women Leaders Launches Women’s Heart Health Pledge to Demand Equitable Healthcare

With research showing that women die from heart attacks at twice the rate of men, the pledge calls on closing the gender gap in care for heart disease


Full-page ad printed in The New York Times Magazine advocating for women's heart health. Sunday, October 8, 2023

MENLO PARK, Calif.--()--Today, a coalition of women leaders and allies kicked off a national campaign to improve heart health for women, who are twice as likely to die from heart attacks as men.

The Women's Heart Health Pledge is part of an ongoing effort to transform the way we approach women's cardiovascular health through education and systemic change in healthcare. The coalition launched the campaign by advertising a full-page open letter in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday, October 8. The campaign will run indefinitely, with an unwavering commitment to effecting real and lasting change in women's heart health.

The pledge seeks to draw attention to alarming statistics in women’s healthcare that can result in untreated symptoms, disease, and death. According to a report from researchers at Hello Heart and the American Heart Association (AHA):

  • Women visiting emergency rooms with heart attack symptoms wait 29% longer than men.
  • Women are seven times more likely than men to be misdiagnosed and sent home from the emergency room during a heart attack.
  • 53% of women who were hospitalized with a heart attack reported that, during a previous visit, their provider did not think their symptoms were heart-related.

The time for being a ‘patient’ patient is over. We cannot let women continue to die avoidable deaths from heart disease,” said Maayan Cohen, CEO and co-founder of Hello Heart and the lead organizer of the pledge. “Every woman deserves equitable healthcare and a chance at a long and healthy life. We cannot afford to let gender disparities in heart health continue to persist. We have a collective responsibility to break down these barriers and ensure that all women, regardless of their background, have the tools and resources they need to lead healthy, fulfilling lives. This is not just a pledge; it's a promise to create a future where every woman's heart is valued, protected, and championed.”

We have a unique opportunity to drive positive and lasting change in women's health,” said Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global and a lead signatory on the pledge. “The launch of the Women's Heart Health Pledge is a rallying call for all of us — women and men alike — to address the alarming disparities in women's cardiovascular health. Together, we can close the gap and ensure that women receive the attention, research, and support they need to live their healthiest, most fulfilling and productive lives."

As someone who faced many battles with a heart condition, I understand firsthand the challenges that women can encounter when seeking care,” said Asjia O'Neal, a volleyball player at The University of Texas at Austin and a lead signatory on the pledge.I'm proud to lend my voice to the Women's Heart Health Pledge because I know that every woman deserves the same chance to triumph over heart-related challenges. By signing this pledge, you're not only supporting me and countless others who've faced similar struggles, but you're also taking a stand for the health and well-being of women everywhere. Together, let's ensure that no woman faces her heart health journey alone.”

The full list of signatories includes:

  • Maayan Cohen, CEO and Co-founder of Hello Heart
  • Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global
  • Asjia O’Neal, NCAA volleyball star and heart health advocate
  • Jermaine O’Neal, NBA All-Star
  • Lynn Shapiro Snyder, JD, Founder, Women Business Leaders Health Care Foundation
  • Peggy Hamburg, MD, Former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration
  • Vinod Khosla, Co-founder, Khosla Ventures
  • Nasrien Ibrahim, MD, MPH Cardiologist and Founder, The Equity in Heart Transplant Project
  • Carolyn Everson, Board Member, The Walt Disney Company, Coca-Cola, and Under Armour
  • Sharon Rothstein, former Chief Marketing Officer, Starbucks
  • Barbara Rhoden, PhD, Chief Marketing Officer, Primasun
  • Phyllis Campbell, Former Vice Chair, JP Morgan
  • Neha Parikh, former CEO, Waze and Board Member, Carvana
  • Ruma Bose, Chief Growth Officer, Clearco
  • Wendy Nguyen, CMO, Hello Heart and Co-founder, Stand with Asian Americans
  • Luciana Borio, MD, Former FDA Chief Scientist and Partner at ARCH Ventures
  • Christy Chan, Filmmaker/Artist
  • Nancy Mastroianni, Head of Growth, HLTH
  • Erin Gallagher, CEO, Ella
  • Mita Mallick, Author, Chief Diversity Officer
  • @CorporateNatalie
  • Meesha Dugan, PhD, CEO, Cardio Diagnostics
  • Somesh Dash, General Partner, IVP
  • Ron Shah, Partner, Stripes

To learn more and add your name to the Women's Heart Health Pledge, visit

Take the pledge:

I stand for increasing funding and research on women’s heart health.

I stand for system-wide changes; I stand for educating healthcare workers about the unique symptoms of women’s heart disease.

I stand for women being in control of their heart health, I stand for providing women with tools for early detection of heart disease.

I stand for creating public awareness programs that educate all Americans on women’s heart disease.

I stand for all women, regardless of economics and race, receiving the same opportunity to live long lives.

About the Coalition of Women Health Leaders

We’re women leaders in healthcare and business, and community leaders who have had enough. We are here to create the most urgent conversation on women’s heart health in medicine. We want fewer heart attacks and longer lives for women. We want to close the gender gap—and conversation gap—in healthcare. We want doctors trained to recognize women’s physical symptoms, including shortness of breath, back and neck pain, stomach discomfort, nausea, and vomiting. No more baby steps. No more waiting.

Release Summary

Prominent women leaders and allies call for equitable women's heart health.