Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, has announced a $10 million gift from Sister to Sister founder Irene Pollin to launch a heart disease prevention program in Israel.
The funds will be used to establish the Linda Joy Pollin Cardiovascular Wellness Institute — named in honor of Pollin's daughter, Linda Joy Pollin, who died of heart disease at the age of sixteen — at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. Hadassah and Sister to Sister will partner to raise awareness about heart disease and prevention through live screening programs and local education initiatives, as well as promote Smart for the Heart, a Web-based tool that provides free online health risk assessments, recommendations, and resources for making healthier lifestyle choices.
In addition to helping improve health outcomes for women in the Middle East, the institute also will work to unite all women, regardless of faith or ethnicity, in the fight against heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women.
"Through Sister to Sister, I've sought to make as many women as possible aware that although one in three women are currently dying from heart disease, simple lifestyle changes can have a major impact in reducing their risk," said Pollin. "For a century, Hadassah's inclusive approach to women's health has broken down barriers and saved countless lives. Ours is a natural partnership, one built on a common notion of universal sisterhood. Since making my decision to establish the Institute in Jerusalem, my heart has been telling me how right this is."