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WISEWOMAN Brochure cover.

A WISEWOMAN Success Story

"Since joining the Ladies First program, I have a lot more energy and I feel better about myself," says Lana Hanson of Sherm, Vermont. Lana joined Vermont's WISEWOMAN program, Ladies First, in 2006.

Through Ladies First, Lana has learned how to make healthy food choices. "I used to have really bad eating habits. I would skip breakfast; for lunch I would snack on cookies and potato chips; and for dinner I would eat a hamburger or hot dog, potatoes, and a vegetable and that was only one meal a day." She now grows her own vegetables, adds different kinds of fruits and vegetables to her meals, and eats three healthy meals a day.

As a result of eating healthier, Lana has lost 10 pounds. "I just changed my eating habits and it just happened. The weight loss was a big surprise." Lana has also increased her physical activity. "I do a lot of walking now, which I didn't do before."

She recommends the program to women. "Women should join the Ladies First program because it helps women to focus on their health."

(Reprinted with permission, Vermont Department of Health and Lana Hanson.)

WISEWOMAN (Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the Nation) is a program designed to help women reduce their risk for heart disease and improve their overall health.

What services does WISEWOMAN provide?

WISEWOMAN offers free or low-cost health screenings, such as

  • Blood pressure testing
  • Cholesterol testing
  • Glucose (blood sugar) testing for prediabetes and diabetes

WISEWOMAN also provides services to help women improve their blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, such as

  • Nutrition education
  • Physical activity information
  • Doctor referrals
  • Stop-smoking programs

What makes WISEWOMAN special?

All WISEWOMAN programs screen for heart disease and stroke risk factors, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. WISEWOMAN programs also include other services, such as counseling or classes to show women what they can do to prevent disease and improve their overall health.

WISEWOMAN services teach women how to eat healthy, be more physically active, and quit smoking. Eating nutritious foods and being physically active are two ways to help prevent heart disease.

A woman eating a piece of fruit, and another woman walking.

Why should I join the WISEWOMAN program?

  • Heart disease is a major health problem for women.
  • Heart disease claims the lives of more women than cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, Alzheimer's disease, accidents, and diabetes combined.
  • More women than men will die within one year after a heart attack.
  • Heart disease and stroke are really big problems among minority women.
  • More women than men die of stroke each year.
  • WISEWOMAN offers services to prevent heart disease and other major health problems, including diabetes and weight gain.

Who can join the WISEWOMAN program?

If you can answer yes to all of the following questions, you may be able to join the WISEWOMAN program.

  • Are you already participating in the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP)?
  • Are you either uninsured or underinsured? (Uninsured, you do not have health insurance; Underinsured, you have health insurance, but not enough to cover your needs.)
  • Are you eligible for Medicare, but are unable to pay the premium to enroll in Medicare Part B?

Alabama (AL)
Alabama Department of Public Health
201 Monroe Street, Suite 1374-D
Montgomery, AL 36104

Alaska (AK)
SouthCentral Foundation
4501 Diplomacy Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508

Southeast AK Regional Health Consortium
222 Tongrass Drive
Sitka, AK 99835

Arkansas (AR)
Arkansas Department of Health
4815 West Markham, Slot 11
Little Rock, AR 72205
California (CA)
California Department of Public Health
P.O. Box 997377
Sacramento, CA 95899-7377
Colorado (CO)
Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246
Connecticut (CT)
Connecticut Department of Public Health
P.O. Box 340308
410 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106-0308
Illinois (IL)
Illinois Department of Public Health
535 W. Jefferson Avenue, 1st Floor
Springfield, IL 62761
Indiana (IN)
Indiana State Department of Health
2 No. Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Iowa (IA)
Iowa Department of Public Health
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075
Michigan (MI)
Michigan State Department of Community Health
P.O. Box 30720, Accounting Division
Lansing, MI 48909
Missouri (MO)
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
P.O. Box 570
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Nebraska (NE)
Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services
301 Centennial Mall South
P.O. Box 94817
Lincoln, NE 68509
North Carolina (NC)
NC Department of Health and Human Services
1931 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699
Oregon (OR)
Oregon Health Authority/Public Health
800 NE Oregon Street
Portland, OR 97232-2162
Pennsylvania (PA)
Pennsylvania Deptartment of Health
Health and Welfare Building, Rm. 1000
625 Forster Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Rhode Island (RI)
Rhode Island Department of Health
3 Capitol Hill, Room 408
Providence, RI 02908
South Carolina (SC)
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29204
Utah (UT)
Utah Department of health
288 North 1460 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84118
Vermont (VT)
Vermont Department of Health
308 Cherry Street
Burlington, VT 05402
West Virginia (WV)
West Virginia Department of Health & Human Services
350 Capitol Street, Room 427
Charleston, WV 25301
Wisconsin (WI)
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
1 W. Wilson Street, Room 218
Madison, WI 53702

How can I join the WISEWOMAN program?

First, enroll in a National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Visit or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) to find the location nearest you.

Second, ask about joining the WISEWOMAN program. Keep in mind that WISEWOMAN is not available in all states.

Can I join WISEWOMAN if it is not available in my state?

Unfortunately, no. However, as funding for the program increases, WISEWOMAN will continue to expand across the nation. In 2008, six additional programs were funded to provide WISEWOMAN services. Currently there are 21 funded programs.


Vision: A world where any woman can access preventive health services and gain the wisdom to improve her health.

Mission: Provide low-income, underinsured, or uninsured 40- to 64-year-old women with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities needed to improve diet, physical activity, and other life habits to prevent, delay, or control heart disease and other chronic conditions.

  • Since 2000, WISEWOMAN has reached more than 80,000 women.
  • WISEWOMAN has found thousands of new cases of high blood pressure and high cholesterol and more than 1,100 new cases of diabetes (sugar).
  • WISEWOMAN also has helped reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels among women and has helped women quit smoking.

Contact Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
4770 Buford Highway, Mailstop K-47
Atlanta, GA 30341