Last night members of MCWH were privileged to attend the Second Heart Foundation Awards Dinner in Melbourne, to celebrate the outstanding acheivements of one of our bilingual health educators.
Elizabeth Mazeyko is one of only three recipients of the prestigious President’s Award, recognising her passion and inspirational work as a Spanish speaking health educator for women from immigrant and refugee backgrounds. Other individuals were recognised and awarded for their outstanding contribution to heart-related research and their outstanding support of the Heart Foundation.
The President’s award recognises Elizabeth’s significant contribution to improving women’s heart health in Victoria, made possible in particular through the partnership project between the Heart Foundation and Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health, Healthy Hearts. The project exceeded expectations, delivering heart health messages in nine different languages to immigrant and refugee women and men across Victoria, and has cemented the partnership between the Heart Foundation and MCWH in delivering effective health education to immigrant and refugee women.
In her acceptance speech, Elizabeth perfectly stated the importance of the work we do at MCWH, saying: “unfortunately heart disease doesn’t discriminate between language, race or culture. In many communities, men and women don’t believe that high blood pressure or high cholesterol is already cardiovascular disease. I make sure that they understand that important message.”
Elizabeth also graciously acknowledged the support of MCWH and Catuscia Biuso from the Heart Foundation, who has been a tireless advocate for our work and central in developing our strong partnership.
Elizabeth promised she would ‘only get better at my work so that you can see me here, hopefully for a different award next time’. Then around 330 guests rose from their seats to learn Elizabeth’s heart-health themed adaptation of the Macarena dance – demonstrating her gift for using humour to connect so powerfully with people.
“Every time I walk into a group, my aim is to ensure that everyone understands the factors surrounding cardiovascular disease. We all know that heart disease kills 31 Australian women per day, and someone dies every 24 minutes in Australia … It is during my sessions that I feel that educating people about Heart Health is making a difference in people’s lives and that gives me my greatest reward day after day.”
MCWH is extremely proud of Elizabeth’s achievement and is grateful for the commitment and compassion she brings to her work and to our lives.
You can read about some of the excellent outcomes of our partnership with the Heart Foundation in the report, For All Hearts.