Ladies First Program Now Offering Additional Services

For Immediate Release:
May 13, 2003

Contact: Corbett Sionainn
Communications Office

BURLINGTON, VT—“Ladies First” means “accessible cancer screening” to most Vermont women. But now, the program will be known for other life-saving services as well.

Cardiovascular disease risk factor screenings for cholesterol, diabetes, and blood pressure are among the additional services the Vermont Department of Health now offers statewide through the Ladies First program.

As part of the expanded service, the program will offer opportunities for income eligible Vermont women (age 40+) to visit with a nutritionist and join a physical activity program in their area. Participants who smoke can receive free nicotine replacement therapy in conjunction with cessation counseling. Women who are living with diabetes can access diabetes education from a local accredited program or educator.

“Ladies First is expanding an important service to Vermont women by offering additional health screening and support for healthy eating and physical activity to Ladies First members,” said Suzanne Kelley, Chronic Disease Program Director. “Each year, cardiovascular disease causes more deaths among women than all cancers combined and it is the leading cause of death for women.”

Cardiovascular disease includes heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. In 2001, over 1,030 Vermont women died from cardiovascular disease.

Risk factors for cardiovascular disease include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low amounts of exercise, and eating high fat, high cholesterol foods.

The Ladies First program assists women living on limited incomes and who are under-insured or uninsured with limited access to essential health screening tests. For example, in 2003 a two-person household can earn up to $30,300 a year and still qualify for membership.

To enroll today, call Kate at 1-800-508-2222 or TDD 1-800-319-3141 for hearing impaired.

May 11–17, 2003 is National Women’s Health Week. During this week, women across the U.S. are encouraged to see their physician for a check-up.