November 7, 2011 — 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.
The meeting was co-sponsored by the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the American Heart Association (AHA), and the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are co-leads of the Million Hearts initiative.
Attendees included public health organizations, federal agencies, insurance companies, healthcare systems, consumer representatives and businesses.
Launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with several 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.”
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) will work with community health centers and quality improvement organizations to disseminate best practices; this will include measuring and improve clinical performance in the ABCS, and addressing disparities that exist in care delivery. AHA will continue to inform and educate researchers, healthcare providers, and public health partners on opportunities to join the Million Hearts effort. Finally, the organization is committed to helping monitor the initiative’s efforts and progress towards achieving the Million Hearts goals.
- The Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) will work to develop Million Hearts strategies tailored to ethnically diverse populations. They will attempt to reduce heart disease and stroke disparities; partner with the faith-based community; and conduct outreach and education 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 Million Hearts.
- The National 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. 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 encouraging academic pharmacy faculty members and student pharmacists to educate friends, family members and patients on the importance of the ABCS and medication adherence. More than 63,000 academic pharmacy faculty members at more than 123 institutions nationwide will work toward these goals during Thanksgiving and winter break this year.
For more information: millionhearts.hhs.gov