Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Connection -  newsletter July 10, 2014

HDSP’s Megan Hicks, featured in the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Campaign

Megan Hicks, her twin sister Rachel Hicks, and five other Minnesota volunteers and survivors came together for a photo shoot at the American Heart Association. The women were selected as finalists to be local Go Red For Women spokespeople after sharing their stories in the annual Go Red Casting Call at the Mall of America this past February. All of the women will be featured in the upcoming August issue of Minnesota Monthly magazine in its annual section about the association’s Go Red For Women campaign – which aims to raise awareness that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined.

Hicks was born with a heart defect, yet her twin sister was healthy. Because of this, it took weeks for the doctors to discover and properly diagnose her heart condition, Tetralogy of Fallot. After four heart surgeries, Hicks is doing relatively well, but it’s stories like hers that motivated the association to push for legislation that will ensure all newborns are given a simple pulse oximetry screening to detect heart defects before babies leave the hospital.

Identical twins are supposed to be identical, aren't they,” said Hicks. “My family calls me ‘little big heart’ and I live up to it by finding ways to share my story with others and help them overcome the challenges of heart disease. I am a fighter, a giver, a volunteer and I am a survivor.”

Find more information about Go Red For Women online at www.goredforwomen.org.


Heart Disease and Diabetes Receive Stratis Health’s 2014 Building Healthier Communities Award

Stratis Health, Minnesota’s state quality improvement organization, recently announced six recipients of their 2014 Building Healthier Communities award.  This Stratis Health grant award supports creative community initiatives that promote a culture of health care quality and patient safety in Minnesota.  Two of the recipients touch the Minnesota Department of Health.

MDH’s Diabetes Program and Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Unit are active members of the Minnesota Diabetes and Heart Health Collaborative.  The Collaborative received the $9,500 award to continue the World Café-style Community Conversations for Diabetes Prevention and Care Action in the African American, American Indian, Hmong, Latino, and Somali communities. The conversations have been helping the communities in taking next steps in implementing their most important recommendations for reducing their burden of diabetes and health disparities.

The other award was given to the Minnesota Time Critical Care Committee, co-chaired by Albert Tsai, from the Minnesota Department of Health’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Unit and Justin Bell, from the American Heart Association, Midwest Affiliate.  The $10,000 award will act as seed money to develop an online training learning management system for emergency medical service (EMS) providers to provide education on time critical care conditions. The intended audiences include first responders and EMS providers in and around Minnesota.


Medtronic Philanthropy Program Supports Frontline care for underserved Minnesota populations with heartdisease, diabetes

In June, Medtronic announced the launch of HealthRise, a global five-year, $17-million Medtronic Philanthropy program that supports community-based demonstration projects specifically designed to expand access to care and management of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

“In Minnesota, HealthRise will begin with a comprehensive needs assessment in Ramsey, Hennepin, and Rice Counties, that will inform the selection of interventions focusing on underserved populations in both urban and rural communities. HealthRise community projects also will take place in Brazil, India and South Africa.

Medtronic Philanthropy has contracted with Abt Associates and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) to implement and evaluate the project in Minnesota.  IHME will partner with Minnesota public health experts, community organizations and local leaders to review and aggregate disease prevalence within these counties, as well as the barriers and gaps for underserved populations specific to the Minnesota health system.

Later this year, results of that assessment will be announced, along with an advisory board and grant proposal requests administered by Abt that focus on local policy and advocacy,  improving frontline healthcare services, and empowering people affected by chronic diseases to better manage their day-to-day health.

Using a “Continuum of Care” approach developed by Medtronic Philanthropy, grants will primarily be used to recruit and train frontline healthcare workers, conduct patient education programs, and support local stakeholder engagement and policy efforts that will advance access to healthcare. 

“We know that global change in healthcare access begins on the frontlines of villages, towns and cities all around the world,” said Jacob A. Gayle, Ph.D., vice president, Medtronic Philanthropy.  “While Minnesota is world-renowned for great healthcare, it is not immune to disparities in access.  We expect that, by convening experts and making resources more readily available, we will help fill a real need in the effort to strengthen health systems so that people at risk for, or living with a chronic disease, can live longer, higher-quality lives.”

Worldwide, more than 100,000 people die every day from a chronic disease as heart disease or diabetes, according to the World Health Organization.  A disproportionate toll is taken within underserved populations out of reach from quality care, which includes those who cannot afford care, cannot travel to care because of distance or existing conditions, or have limited knowledge of their condition or how to navigate their local health care system or advocate for themselves. 


Multicultural Campaign to Prevent Diabetes

Diabetes can be prevented or delayed, but when a doctor says “prediabetes,” many patients don’t understand what that means or what they can do. When you add cultural differences to that equation, the answer is in even less clear. Over the past year, the Minnesota Department of Health has been working within cultural communities to develop messages that will help these communities understand and act to prevent diabetes. In June, those messages were rolled out and can be seen in local businesses, bus stops and online. The outcome of these promotional materials is to help drive traffic to diabetes prevention programs across the metro area. Learn more about diabetes prevention in Minnesota and it’s cultural communities at www.preventdiabetesmn.org.


Mark your calendar for the
2014 American Diabetes Association EXPO!

Saturday, October 11
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Minneapolis Convention Center

Learn how to be healthy, active and live well with diabetes or prediabetes. The EXPO is free and includes health screenings, cooking demonstrations, information and resources from exhibitors. Metro Transit is offering a FREE PASS to ride any bus or light rail to the EXPO. Learn more at  http://www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/diabetes-expos/minneapolis or call 1-888-DIABETES.



Updated Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 10:48AM