Kate H. Gamble, Senior Editor
Walgreens has teamed up with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to launch the Million Hearts Initiative in Washington, DC, as part of an effort to fight heart disease
This public and private sector initiative is a coordinated approach to help prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over 5 years by finding ways to reduce the number of people who need treatment and improve the quality of treatment for those who need it. According to the CDC, heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death.
Walgreens will engage its more than 26,000 health care providers to support the Million Hearts prevention goal by providing blood pressure testing, at no charge, in consultation with a Walgreens pharmacist or Take Care Health providers. In addition, Walgreens also plans to promote diabetes health testing in November and heart health in February, and make Million Hearts resources available at its 7760 drugstores nationwide.
“We are pleased to partner with HHS, the CDC and CMS to help patients learn to live healthier lives while providing quality, accessible care,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness, in a statement
. “Participation in this campaign is another example of the opportunity our pharmacists and Take Care Health providers have to drive positive health outcomes through their face-to-face interactions with patients.”
Million Hearts is also working with other health practitioners, private insurers, employers, health advocacy groups and community organizations to reach the campaign’s 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.
For more information about the Million Hearts Initiative and its partners, visit http://millionhearts.hhs.gov