The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continues its national initiative aimed to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. over the next five years. The campaign is called Million Hearts™ and is co-led by CDC and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), integrating and amplifying a range of existing heart disease and stroke prevention programs, policies, and activities.
The Million Hearts™ Initiative seeks to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by the end of 2017 by:
• Empowering Americans to make healthy choices such as avoiding tobacco use and reducing the amount of sodium and trans fat they eat. These changes will reduce the number of people who need medical treatment for high blood pressure or cholesterol—and ultimately prevent heart attacks and strokes.
• Improving care for people who do need treatment by encouraging a focus on the “ABCS”—Aspirin for people at risk, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation—four steps to address the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and help to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
“Heart disease takes the lives of far too many people in this country, depriving their families and communities of someone they love and care for—a father, a mother, a wife, a friend, a neighbor, a spouse. With more than 2 million heart attacks and strokes a year, and 800,000 deaths, just about all of us have been touched by someone who has had heart disease, heart attack, or a stroke.” - Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary
As a Health Care Provider, How can you be One in a Million Hearts™?
• TREAT high blood pressure and cholesterol in your patients.
• TREAT appropriate patients with Aspirin.
• ESTABALISH and DISCUSS with patients their specific goals for treatment and the most effective ways that they can help control their risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
• COACH your patients to develop heart-healthy habits, such as regular exercise and a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, and stress reduction techniques. Provide tools to show their progress and access to team members to help them succeed.
• ASK your patients about their smoking status and provide cessation support and medication when appropriate.
• ASK about barriers to medication adherence and help find solutions.
• USE health information technology, such as electronic health records and decision support tools, to improve the delivery of care and control of the ABCS.
To learn more about Million Hearts™ and take the pledge to help prevent 1 million heart attacks, please visit the Million Hearts™ campaign website.