WISEWOMAN Program Overview

The WISEWOMAN program serves low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women aged 40 to 64 years.

The WISEWOMAN (Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the Nation) program serves low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women ages 40 to 64 years, with heart disease and stroke risk factor screenings and services that promote healthy behaviors to reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke. This program funds 24 awardees in 21 state health departments and 3 tribal organizations. For the first time, CDC has included an innovation component awarded to a subset of awardees that receive core funding to support the implementation and evaluation of a small set of innovative strategies designed to reduce risks, complications, and barriers to the prevention and control of heart disease and stroke.

Administered through CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP), the WISEWOMAN program operates in states and tribal organizations that participate in the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP), which helps ensure women participating in the NBCCEDP receive a full range of health services.

WISEWOMAN Improves Women’s Health

CDC provides funding to local WISEWOMAN programs to enable qualifying women to receive free screenings and counseling about their risk for heart disease and stroke. Women are then supported as they participate in evidence-based lifestyle programs, individual health coaching, or referred to other community resources. The WISEWOMAN program served nearly 150,000 women between 2008 and 2013—91% of whom had at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke—and nearly 101,000 women participated in a healthy lifestyle service to reduce these women’s risk for heart disease and stroke. The services provided by each WISEWOMAN program vary, but all are designed to promote lifelong heart-healthy lifestyle changes.

WISEWOMAN Improves Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

The WISEWOMAN program aims to improve the delivery of heart disease and stroke prevention services by focusing on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, specifically improving blood pressure control.

WISEWOMAN helps integrate innovative and evidence-based approaches to heart disease and stroke prevention within health care systems and throughout communities. Read a summary of the implementation of the WISEWOMAN program’s core strategies [PDF – 657 KB] in years 1 and 2 (2018–2020) and an evaluation of the program’s successes.

Examples of these evidence-based approaches:

  • Using a team-based care approach, which includes the patient and the patient’s primary care provider, nurses, pharmacists, and community health workers, to provide care for patients with high blood pressure and other risk factors.
  • Supporting clinicians by providing tools and resources to help their patients regularly measure their blood pressure at home.
  • Providing tools to pharmacists to work with patients to help them take their blood pressure medications as directed.
  • Providing skill-based trainings to encourage participants to improve their diet and increase physical activity.
  • Referring smokers to quit lines or other tobacco cessation resources.
  • Supporting community-based farmers’ markets and other programs to increase access to healthy, fresh food options.
  • Providing access to community-based physical activity options such as YMCA memberships and passes to local park and recreation services.
  • Increasing the number of evidence-based lifestyle programs offered in communities such as the National Diabetes Prevention Programs and Take Off Pounds Sensibly Club, Inc. (TOPS) groups.