February is Heart Month, designated to call attention to heart disease – a leading killer - which causes 17 million deaths every year worldwide. In the U.S., according to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the underlying cause of death in 1 out of every 3 fatalities, and almost half of U.S. adults have some form of cardiovascular disease.
The Health Federation is working with our national and local partners on two new projects to address risk factors for cardiovascular disease among low-income and racial/ethnic minority communities in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The Philly Difference: Connections for Better Chronic Care (Part 2) is a collaborative, five-year project funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) through the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. HFP is working with six Philadelphia FQHCs and partners at the Health Care Improvement Foundation and local health systems to support high quality, health information technology enabled care for patients with hypertension, high cholesterol and other cardiovascular disease risk factors. The project strategies include strengthening team based care through involvement of behavioral health professionals, pharmacists and community health workers, refining and disseminating clinical protocols related to cardiovascular risk and cholesterol management, and utilizing electronic health record and population health management systems to provide actionable data at the point of care.
In addition, HFP was selected as one of seven Health Center Controlled Networks nationwide to collaborate with the CDC and the National Association of Community Health Centers on a project to address uncontrolled hypertension in African American health center patients. In this effort, we will be working with four health centers to assess data related to uncontrolled hypertension in African-American patients, and develop strategies for helping those patients to control their disease with appropriate medication and lifestyle change.
For more information about this work, please contact Suzanne Cohen, Senior Director of Population Health.