NACDS Foundation sponsors nationwide heart-health initiatives

Campaign, with HHS, to include health fairs in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico

ARLINGTON, Va. — The philanthropic arm of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores is supporting various heart-health programs around the country to support a Department of Health and Human Services campaign.

The NACDS Foundation announced the launch of the NACDS Foundation and Million Hearts "Heart to Heart Community Health Fairs," supporting HHS' "Team Up, Pressure Down" campaign. Various initiatives will take place in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

"Given the tremendous impact of 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,'" NACDS Foundation chairman Steven Anderson and president Kathleen Jaeger wrote in a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a partner in the Million Hearts initiative.

The pharmacists and pharmacy students who conduct the 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 also are designed to refer patients, as necessary, to physicians for evaluation based on results of blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking cessation and immunizations screenings.

In 2012, NACDS Foundation grants made possible 65 health fairs that served 3,500 patients as part of the "Team Up, Pressure Down" public-private partnership, whose goal was to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. The foundation provided $35,000 in grants to 15 schools and colleges of pharmacy around the country.

Services last year included aspirin education for 1,923 patients; blood-pressure screening and education for 2,909 patients; cholesterol screening and education for 1,750 patients and smoking-cessation education for 1,292 patients. Of those screened for blood pressure, 24% were referred for follow-up with primary care physicians, while 36% of those screened for cholesterol were referred.

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