November 5, 2012
Alexandria, VA – National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation grants made possible 65 health fairs that served 3,500 patients as part of a 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 launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
In a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a partner in the Million Hearts initiative, the NACDS Foundation highlighted the screenings and counseling provided to thousands of patients during these health fairs, which were located in community pharmacies, senior centers and other community venues.
The specific outreach completed at these events corresponded directly with the efforts by the Million Hearts initiative to prevent heart attacks and strokes through 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:
- Aspirin education for 1,923 patients
- Blood pressure screening and education for 2,909 patients
- Cholesterol screening and education for 1,750 patients
- Smoking cessation education for 1,292 patients
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:
- Of those screened for blood pressure, 24% were referred for follow-up with their primary physician.
- Of those screened for cholesterol, 36% were referred to their physicians.
”We’re excited to share the success of the Foundation’s community health fairs with you, and we want to continue to affirm our commitment as an active partner of Million Hearts. We hope that these results along with those of other Million Hearts partners can be used as a sign of success of this great initiative,” wrote Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, chairman of the NACDS Foundation, and Kathleen Jaeger, president of the NACDS Foundation.
"We applaud the NACDS Foundation for making blood pressure control a priority for pharmacy students," said Janet Wright, MD, executive director of the Million Hearts initiative. "Research shows that pharmacists play a critical role in helping individuals get their blood pressure under control, which in turn reduces the risk for heart attacks and strokes."
The participating schools and colleges of pharmacy sponsored by the NACDS Foundation were: Chicago State University, Duquesne University, Harding University, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences-Boston, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences-Worcester, Roosevelt University, Texas A&M, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, University of Minnesota, University of Mississippi, University of New Mexico, University of North Carolina, University of Oklahoma, University of South Florida and Western New England University.