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Barbra Streisand becomes a women's health advocate cover girl

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Barbra Streisand has been a cover girl on a myriad of famous magazines throughout the years, as a newsmaker, fashion trendsetter, entertainment artist, popular celebrity, legendary icon and even a bride when her wedding pictures to James Brolin were splashed on People Magazine's cover.

Now we can add cover lady for women's health advocacy to that impressive list. With the publication of pause magazine, from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Streisand is using her famous face again to draw readers in for an important article that come right from the heart. And as Barbra's said, when something's from the heart, it goes to the heart.

In her ongoing campaign to raise awareness about women's health issues, specific the epidemic of heart disease that's killing women worldwide, Barbra Streisand spoke with the magazine and graced the cover. Attention must be paid to this issue and Streisand has been passionate in her efforts to educate women and shine a light on this problem.

The publication includes an upfront letter called "A Star for Women's Health is Born," by the Medical Advisory Board chair, Isaac Schiff, MD.

Dr. Schiff writes: "In 1964, I was lucky enough to see Barbra Streisand perform on Broadway in 'Funny Girl,' and I've been a fan ever since. Her star power was dazzling then, and it has only continued to shine brighter throughout her career. As a singer, actress, producer, and director, her talent knows no bounds. This issue of pause, looks at her role as an advocate for women's health -- specifically women and heart disease, which is the No. 1 cause of death in women in the US. Read how Streisand's efforts are positively affecting women nationally and internationally."

Barbra's recent address at the Cedars-Sinai Board Of Governors Annual Gala at Beverly Hills, California, was quoted extensively in the article, but that wasn't all. The writer Madonna Behen, also referred to an interview Barbra did with Marlo Thomas for "That Girl's" website earlier this year.

In that piece, Marlo wrote: "You know how inspired I am by women who never stop dreaming – and superstar Barbra Streisand is a wonderful example. Her success could have meant a life of leisure now, but that's not for Barbra! She's now leading a $10 million fundraising campaign on behalf of the Women's Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles – she herself will donate $5 million, and she's spearheading an Internet campaign to raise the rest."

When Marlo asked Barbra if her deep involvement in the cause had affected how she was taking care of herself, Barbra revealed that it had. "Because I have been performing in front of the camera or in front of a live audience for all these years, I have always been conscious about what I put into my body," Barbra explained.

"But food is a passion for me, so it's never been easy to say no to dessert or avoid the bread basket sitting on the table. I try to do everything in moderation and I work out consistently. I have learned that we cannot take our health for granted, and the more I learn from Dr. Merz and talk to friends who have reversed their own heart disease, I realize nutrition and exercise are key factors to having and maintaining a healthy heart."

Dr. Merz is C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, Director of the Women's Heart Center as well as the Preventive and Rehabilitative Cardiac Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. In the pause article, Dr. Merz commented on Barbra's efforts, including the online fundraising campaign to raise $5 million (crowdrise.com/barbrastreisand) to match the $5 million Barbra's already donated. Said Dr. Merz, "It's an amazingly powerful use of her icon status to do this good work for women across the nation and internationally."

Two final items caught my eye in reading this article. First, when Marlo asked Barbra about presenting Kathryn Bigelow the Oscar in 2010 for "The Hurt Locker," Streisand said, "It was an honor and a thrill to be able to present the best director Oscar to Kathryn. I thought she was deserving of all the accolades she received. Regardless of gender, she did a wonderful job directing 'The Hurt Locker' and I was so happy that the Academy acknowledged that. But yes, as I said on stage before presenting her with the award, the time had come!"

The second item of of note was in Behen's introduction to the article. She wrote that in addition to "My Mother's Curse," Barbra's comedy with Seth Rogen coming out in 2012, Barbra's "also planning to star in a new film adaptation of the musical 'Gypsy' as the legendary Mama Rose."

Hopefully, those words are not just words, but a confirmation that we will see Barbra back before the cameras to shoot that classic Broadway musical in the coming year.

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