Arlington, VA – In celebration of Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation today announced the launch of the NACDS Foundation/Million Hearts “Heart to Heart Community Health Fairs.” In continued support of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Million Hearts “Team Up, Pressure Down” campaign, this new program aims to support initiatives focused on heart health in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
In a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a partner in the Million Hearts initiative, the NACDS Foundation noted the success of the 2012 health fairs, of which the Foundation was also a partner, and provided details of its new initiative.
“Given the tremendous impact on the health and well-being of the health fairs participants, we are eager to continue our partnership to build healthier hearts and improve lives with the launch of the NACDS Foundation/Million Hearts “Heart to Heart Community Health Fairs,” wrote Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, chairman of the NACDS Foundation, and Kathleen Jaeger, president of the NACDS Foundation. “We are happy to announce that as of today, we have committed support to school programs within 42 states that will reach over 6,000 patients.”
The community pharmacists and pharmacy students that conduct these “Heart to Heart Community Health Fairs” will report a number of health related outcomes including the number of patients who are screened or at-risk for a heart condition. The fairs are also designed to refer patients - as necessary - to their physicians for evaluation based on results of their blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking cessation and immunizations screenings. Each program will also note any collaborative healthcare services with other healthcare professionals for patients who may benefit from these patient-centered care programs.
In 2012, NACDS Foundation grants made possible 65 health fairs that served 3,500 patients as part of the “Team Up, Pressure Down” national public-private partnership to help prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. The NACDS Foundation provided $35,000 in grants to 15 schools and colleges of pharmacy nationwide as part of “Team Up, Pressure Down” – one component of the Million Hearts initiative.
The specific outreach completed at last year’s health fairs helped to raise greater awareness of the ABCS of heart health: Appropriate aspirin therapy, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management and Smoking cessation. Specifically, pharmacists and student pharmacists provided the following free services for patients in community pharmacies, senior centers and other community venues across the country:
The pharmacists and students also referred patients back to their primary care physicians when necessary. The dramatic results of these screenings indicated that a number of patients needed a referral from their physicians for further treatment:
“With the success of the 2012 health fairs, we are excited to launch this new program that we hope to reach every state and more patients in an effort to raise awareness of heart health,” said Jaeger.