I was honored to be a featured speaker at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent Public Health Grand Rounds, “Preventing a Million Heart Attacks and Strokes: A Turning Point for Impact.” It was powerful to see the difference we are all making in improving our nation’s heart health. As Million Hearts® reaches its half-way mark, we need to accelerate that progress. Everyone plays a role: local and state governments and organizations, individuals, health care professionals and systems, insurers, and more. Together, we can send a clear signal that cardiovascular events can be prevented when each of us takes a few, specific actions that make an impact.
—Janet Wright, MD, FACC
Executive Director, Million Hearts®
One Easy Way to Support Million Hearts®
On November 5, 2014, join a webinar hosted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on the use of community health workers (CHWs) for improving heart health. During the webinar, faith- and community-based organizations will have the opportunity to exchange information about how to access CHWs to engage their audiences. The webinar is co-sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the National Urban League; and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Register today!
Tools You Can Use
- Check out the Million Hearts® Clinical Quality Measures (CQM) Dashboard—This web-based tool is designed to monitor heart attack and stroke prevention efforts from quality reporting initiatives focused on the Million Hearts® ABCS. The CQM Dashboard provides a comprehensive geographical view of available data and can be organized by quality reporting system, year, and patient demographics.
- Use the Million Hearts® Speaker Toolkit to prepare for your next presentation—If you’re putting together a talk with other heart health stakeholders and potential partners about your efforts to support Million Hearts®, check out the Million Hearts® Speaker Toolkit. This valuable resource provides information about the burden of cardiovascular disease (including hypertension), reviews the key components of Million Hearts® in the clinical and community arenas, describes what support is needed from the public and private sectors, and challenges potential partners to consider actions they can take to contribute to preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes.
- Watch Ohio State University’s Million Hearts® educational modules—These free, online modules were designed for interdisciplinary teamwork by students pursuing health care professions and aim to teach peers how to conduct and interpret Million Hearts® screenings in the community setting.
Million Hearts® in the Community
- The Aspirin Project hosts webinar on aspirin and disease prevention. The Aspirin Project, in collaboration with the American College of Preventive Medicine, Partnership for Prevention, and the Council on Aspirin for Health and Prevention, will hold an educational webinar addressing the appropriate clinical use of aspirin for the prevention of vascular diseases and cancer on December 3, 2014, from 7–8 p.m. ET. Register now.
- Six states receive funding and support to focus on hypertension identification, control, and improvement. The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials has announced funding and support to Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, North Dakota, and Virginia to improve blood pressure control as a component of Million Hearts®. The award recipients will work together in a learning collaborative to advance health outcomes specific to hypertension in their states.
- Chicago takes to heart the health of its citizens. The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and its partners have made Chicago the first city in the nation to develop a local plan from the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention’s 2014 Action Plan to combat heart disease and stroke. CDPH Commissioner Bechara Choucair, MD, believes the Healthy Hearts, Healthy Chicago action plan will help the department take its work to the next level to create healthy hearts in every city neighborhood.
- Kansas City’s Saint Luke’s Health System launches local Million Hearts® program. Saint Luke’s has joined the fight to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The health system aims to do its part and improve the overall health of area residents by focusing on blood pressure management.
Let us know what you're doing to advance Million Hearts® in your community! Send us a short description with some key points, and we may feature you in a future e-Update!
The Science of Million Hearts®
- The pressure is on to keep blood pressure down in children. A new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that a majority of school-aged children eat more sodium than recommended, which can lead to high blood pressure. One in 6 children already has raised blood pressure, putting them at risk for heart disease and stroke later in life. The report discusses children’s high-sodium diets and what you can do to influence the way foods are produced, sold, served, and prepared as well as the food choices children make.
- Focus on innovative strategies for chronic disease management.The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Innovations Exchange features programs that used innovative strategies to improve disease-related knowledge and self-management behaviors among vulnerable populations. Educating and engaging individuals in self-management of chronic conditions, such as hypertension, can increase patient activation and lead to better health outcomes.
- Strategies for supporting roles for non-clinicians on primary care teams. The National Academy for State Health Policy’s new report outlines a set of strategies—based on literature as well as state and local experience—for state Medicaid programs and primary care practices on how to support the inclusion of non-clinicians on primary care teams.
- “Beyond the Data” with Dr. Janet Wright. As a follow up to CDC’s recent Public Health Grand Rounds, Million Hearts®Executive Director Janet Wright, MD, FACC, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s John Iskander, MD, MPH, discuss the initiative’s progress and work still needed to reach the initiative’s goals, including the increased use of electronic health records, implementation of smoke-free policies, and training individuals to self-monitor their blood pressure.