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County partnering with community to improve Black and Indigenous women's heart health

Many elements contribute to heart health, including personal health, family history, and community factors. Poor heart health disproportionately affects Black, brown, and Indigenous communities more heavily than the rest of Hennepin County.

Black woman smiling at camera and making a heart shape with her hands.

Systemic racism is a primary drive of health differences between African American/Black, Indigenous and other communities. Women experience higher missed or delayed diagnoses of poor heart health. Symptoms and risk factors for heart disease are not always the same for women as they are for men. There is also lower awareness for how heart health impacts women. These factors lead to worse heart health outcomes among women.

What Hennepin County is doing

In 2024, the Board of Commissioners dedicated $1 million for Hennepin County Public Health to address heart health disparities. The Women’s Heart Health Initiative will support African American/Black and Indigenous women in Hennepin County by:

  • Developing culturally appropriate community programs to improve heart health.
  • Expanding prevention efforts and strengthening care coordination before, during, and after serious heart problems, such as a heart attack.
  • Building awareness through a media campaign centering the experience of Black and Indigenous women who have navigated serious heart health issues.
  • Recognizing and addressing the relationship between heart health and mental health.

Hennepin County's Black and Indigenous Women's Heart Health Initiative (PDF, 1MB) 

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