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  • Ford Motor Company donates $255,000 to fund the completion of Oakwood Healthcare System’s pioneering "Healthy Hearts for Women" research study
  • The latest contribution follows the initial donation of $1 million provided earlier by Ford’s philanthropic arm, Ford Motor Company Fund, to initiate the study
  • This new contribution from Ford will fund the study through its completion in 2012, when final research results will be made available to the public

DEARBORN, Mich., March 26, 2010 – Ford Motor Company announced today it is donating an additional $255,000 to fund the completion of a pioneering multi-year Oakwood Healthcare System research study into the prevention of heart disease – a leading cause of death among American women.

Oakwood’s "Healthy Hearts for Women" study was launched in 2005 with an initial donation of $1 million by Ford through its philanthropic arm, Ford Motor Company Fund. Today’s announcement will bring Ford’s total donation to $1.25 million and allow Dearborn, Mich.-based Oakwood Healthcare System to complete the research study by 2012.

"Our mission at Ford is not only to produce great products and build a strong business but also contribute to a better world," said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas. "We are proud to partner with Oakwood Healthcare System on this important initiative that aims to improve the lives of our employees, our customers and people in the communities Ford and our dealers serve."

The goal of the study is to determine whether a program of personal health coaching, intensive risk factor reduction and behavior modification can lower the risk of heart disease among women while reducing their blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, anxiety, depression, stress, body mass index and weight. Women participating in the program agreed to practice these preventative measures during a five-year span, which promises a strong set of research findings.

"While personalized coaching is not a new technique, personalized health coaching as a part of one’s prescription for improved health is what we’re focusing on in the study," said Carla Schneider, Personal Cardiac Coach, Oakwood Healthcare System. "Plus, the five-year time span that we’ve attached to this particular intervention is certainly unique to the study."

The special research initiative includes approximately 400 female participants who are being monitored and counseled during a five-year period with a focus on lifestyle modifications such as eliminating tobacco, dietary changes, weight management, exercise, cholesterol monitoring and blood pressure control. To qualify, each participant had to be considered to be at a moderate to high risk for heart disease.

Women are more likely than men to die within a year of having a heart attack and the disparities between treatments for men and women remain, according to the American Heart Association.
Also, nearly 37 percent of all female deaths in America occur from cardiovascular disease, which includes coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.

"Oakwood is a leader in heart and vascular care, and with Ford’s support of the Healthy Hearts for Women study, we are not only finding new ways to treat heart disease but to prevent it," said Dr. Arthur Riba, medical director of the Cardiac Care Units, Cardiovascular Quality Management and Cardiology Education and Research, Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center. "We know that guidelines exist to prevent heart disease in women, but the challenge is to apply these scientifically-based recommendations into practice and motivate women to adapt a healthy lifestyle. The research and clinical insight gained from partnering in this study will allow us to identify how women can overcome barriers and lower their risk of heart disease."


About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 198,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit

About Oakwood Healthcare System
Founded in 1953 and headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, Oakwood Healthcare System is a comprehensive regional healthcare network that serves residents over a 500 square mile area. Comprised of four acute care hospitals, 45 primary and specialty care sites and four centers of excellence, Oakwood provides services to more than one million people in 35 communities. As the second largest employer in suburban Wayne County, Oakwood is home to more than 9,000 employees and 1,300 physicians representing nearly every medical and surgical specialty and subspecialty. Oakwood has been recognized as one of the nation’s top 100 Integrated Healthcare Networks and as one of Metro Detroit’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. For more information about Oakwood, visit

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