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Women's Heart Health

Dr. Virginia Miller and Kathleen Zarling, RN

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Virginia Miller is professor of surgery and physiology in the College of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., she attended college at Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pa., before going to Missouri to earn her doctorate in physiology from the University of Missouri in Columbia. She has held professional positions at the University of Virginia and the University of Delaware before joining the Mayo Clinic. She received her masters of business administration from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Miller served as director for the Office of Women's Health at Mayo from 2001-2005. Her research for the last 20 years has focused on how estrogen affects the heart and blood vessels. She served as a member of the governing council for the American Physiological Society (APS) and is currently president-elect of the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD). She is an empty nester with two adult children living successfully on their own. She is a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Rochester, Minn. and chairs their Mission and Evangelism Committee. For leisure, she enjoys golfing and ballroom dancing.

Kathy Zarling, MS, RN, CNS, is a cardiovascular clinical nurse specialist, working with coronary artery disease, medical and surgical patients, as well as facilitating Phase I cardiac rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. Zarling took a masters of science in nursing from the University of Minnesota, and completed a post-master's program from Winona State University in Winona, Minn.

Zarling has spent her 35-plus-year career in the care of cardiac patients and their families. Her prime areas of interest in giving care across the continuum involve the psychosocial aspects of cardiac disease; lifestyle change and moderation in creating quality life after an illness event; heart disease in women; tobacco intervention in the acute care setting, patient education; patient self-efficacy; and creating quality outcomes in the care of patients and their families.

Involved in several professional organizations, Zarling serves as parish nurse in her local congregation, doing health education, blood pressure readings, cholesterol screening, and monitoring. When not engaged with her profession, she participates in her church's music program.

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