Valley Heart & Vascular Institute - Our Doctors

A Message from the Medical Director

Welcome! I’m proud to introduce you to Heart Care for Women, Valley Health System’s all-female cardiology practice focused exclusively on women’s heart care needs.

I’m often asked why we created a practice dedicated to the care of women. Research has shown that gender differences exist not only in the way disease affects the heart but also in the symptoms and the way it is diagnosed.

As women, we tend to put our spouses and families first, downplaying or ignoring our own symptoms. Our symptoms may be not be the tell-tale signs we’ve come to associate with heart problems; women often experience the less common and more subtle symptoms of heart disease. That’s part of the reason why we’re diagnosed and treated later. Women have also been underrepresented in cardiac studies, which have set the standard for diagnosis and treatment.

In addition, women have female-specific issues that contribute to their heart disease risk. Pregnancy, menopause and breast cancer, to name a few, can all affect the risk of heart disease, along with the risk factors you may be more familiar with. Did you know that women smokers are twice as likely to have a heart attack as men who smoke? Diabetes, too, increases the risk of heart disease in women more than it does in men.

That’s why we created Heart Care for Women. We want to promote awareness of women’s heart disease and women’s specific needs in heart care. We believe in treating the whole person and promoting wellness through nutrition, activity and the latest advancements in diagnostics and treatment. Heart health means taking care of yourself from the roots up.

The first step to creating a healthier heart and lifestyle is knowing and understanding your current state of health. I invite you to come in for a free comprehensive cardiac screening to identify your personal heart disease risk and take some time to examine your current health. If nothing else, you’ll leave with the knowledge of how to continue to care for yourself and your heart in the years to come.

From all of us at Heart Care for Women, we welcome you in joining us in our mission to provide better heart care for women, by women.

In good health,

Benita M. Burke, M.D., FACC
Medical Director

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