The Million Hearts initiative has announced new partners and commitments, including tools to reach cardiology professionals and consumers to prevent heart attacks and strokes. The announcements were made at the first gathering of Million Hearts′ private and public organizations, called the Power of Million Hearts Partnerships.
In addition to Million Hearts co-leads Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the meeting was co-sponsored by the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the American Heart Association (AHA), and the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC). Attendees included public health organizations, federal agencies, insurance companies, health care systems, consumer representatives, and businesses.
“The American Heart Association is pleased to continue our original partnership with Million Hearts and today commits to elevate our efforts through research, technology and as a voice of the patient to prevent more than a million people and their family and friends from experiencing the pain of cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the AHA.
“The American College of Cardiology is committed to working with Million Hearts toward the shared aims of reducing heart disease and improving Americans′ health and productivity,” said ACC CEO Jack Lewin, M.D.
Launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with several key partners, Million Hearts aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. It is focused on two goals:
- Empowering Americans to make healthy choices such as preventing tobacco use and reducing sodium and trans fat consumption. This can reduce the number of people who need medical treatment such as blood pressure or cholesterol medications to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
- Improving care for people who do need treatment by encouraging a targeted focus on the “ABCS” – Aspirin for people at risk, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management and Smoking cessation – which address the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and can help to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
“The Million Hearts goals are audacious,” said Million Hearts Executive Director Janet Wright, M.D., “But they are achievable through the actions of powerful partnerships. By working together, focused on a common goal, Million Hearts partnerships are taking on the nation’s number one killer and leading the way to a heart-healthy America.”
“Cardiovascular health care disparity represents a grave injustice in America. Partnering with Million Hearts provides a tremendous opportunity for achieving the Association of Black Cardiologists′ 2020 goal of a 20 percent reduction in cardiovascular disparity in the United States,” said Marcus Williams, M.D., President of the Association of Black Cardiologists.
To achieve the goals of Million Hearts, public and private partners are working to better align health investments on prevention of heart attacks and strokes. Private sector commitments to Million Hearts announced this week include:
- The American College of Cardiology (ACC) is committed to educating the entire cardiac care team about the best evidence-based strategies for reducing cardiovascular disease. In addition, the ACC will help monitor progress toward the goals of the campaign and provide important feedback to providers to help improve performance. On the consumer front, the ACC′s CardioSmart National Care Initiative will play an important role in educating consumers about the ABCS and everyday strategies for healthy living.
- The American Heart Association (AHA) is committed to working with community health centers and quality improvement organizations to disseminate best practices, measure and improve clinical performance in the ABCS, and address health care disparities that exist in care delivery. AHA will work towards greater harmonization of clinical indicators measuring the ABCS and continue to inform and educate researchers, health care providers, and public health partners on opportunities to join the Million Hearts effort. Finally, AHA is committed to helping monitor the initiative′s efforts and progress towards achieving the Million Hearts goals.
- The Association of Black Cardiologistswill work to develop Million Hearts strategies to reduce heart disease and stroke disparities, partner with the faith-based community on Million Hearts, and conduct outreach and education to ethnically diverse populations promoting the importance of the ABCS and healthy lifestyles.
- The National Committee for Quality Assurance(NCQA)will advocate for excellence in cardiovascular preventive care in clinician practices and health plans through the Heart Stroke Recognition Program. Additionally, NCQA will examine the cardiovascular disease measures of HEDIS – a standardized measurement set used for health plans and physicians – and determine potential alignment with the Million Hearts campaign.
- TheNational Consumers League has committed to incorporate Million Hearts goals into the activities of Script Your Future, a national campaign featuring coordinated national communications and targeted outreach in six cities. Many Script Your Future partners participated in the launch of Million Hearts and the National Consumers League will play a key role in leveraging and aligning the efforts of their partners to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
- The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy is launching a new initiative empowering more than 63,000 academic pharmacy faculty members and student pharmacists at over 123 schools and colleges of pharmacy nationwide to educate friends, family members and patients to know their ABCS and the importance of medication adherence during Thanksgiving and winter break this year. This new effort grows from the success of the Script Your Future Medication Adherence Challenge this October and will be sustained by additional community outreach and patient education activities throughout 2012.
For more information on the public and private support of the Million Hearts initiative visit http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/partners.shtml. For more information about Million Hearts visit http://millionhearts.hhs.gov.
Million Hearts is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.