On September 13, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services launched Million Hearts. Million Hearts is aimed to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years.
Cardiovascular disease costs $444 billion annually in medical costs and lost productivity.
Million Hearts focuses on two goals:
1. Empower Americans to make health choices.
This includes preventing the use of tobacco, reducing sodium and trans fat intake. Taking this steps can mean decreased medical treatment (and costs) for blood pressure and cholesterol.
2. Improve care of those who need treatment.
The initiated is targeted to using Aspirin for people at risk, promotion of Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation. This treatment focus is being referred to as the “ABCS” and is intended to cover the major risk factors for heart disease, which means prevention of heart attacks and strokes.
According to Kathleen Sebelius, heart disease leads to the death of one out of three American’s and contributes 17% of national health care spending.
If Million Hearts achieves it’s goals, it’ll mean 10 million more Americans will have high blood pressure controlled, 20 million more American’s will have high cholesterol controlled, and 4 million fewer American’s will smoke by 2017.
To achieve these goals the Department of Health and Human Services has teamed up with private initiatives.
Team Members to Help Work Towards Goal
The American Heart Association will monitor progress of the goals and provide access to heart health management tools, such as Heart 360, My Life Check, and the Heart Attack Risk Calculator.
Walgreens will provide blood pressure testing at no charge in consultation with Walgreen pharmacists or Take Care Clinic Nurse Practitioners.
The Y is looking to expand the Diabetes Prevention Program and CDC’s Healthy Communities Program.
American’s Health Insurance Plans will increase ongoing efforts to reduce heart disease. This includes community-based collaborations to decrease obesity and heart disease risk factors, fitness programs, initiatives to decrease ethnic and racial disparities linked to cardiovascular health, and better disease management.
The American Pharmacists’ Association and the American Pharmacists’ Association Foundation will work to raise awareness with their patients and communities.
The National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations and the Alliance for Patient Medication Safety will encourage state pharmacies to engage in the campaign.
The National Community Pharmacists Association will encourage independent community pharmacists to become involved and work to raise awareness.
The Department of Health and Human Services anticipates participation from private partners will expand as the initiative progresses.
Have you heard about Million Hearts?
I’m curious to know if you’ve heard anything about this initiative in your local news, doctor’s office. . .maybe something at Walgreens? Hopefully this initiative has the intended reach and impact it has set out to achieve.
All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD
|Heart Health Made Easy:
Master the Basics to Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol for a Longer, Healthier Life