Building Relationships to Implement Large-Scale Cardiovascular Screenings on College Campuses

Monday, 30 October 2017: 1:55 PM

Laurel Van Dromme, MA
College of Nursing, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Background: Although cardiovascular disease (CVD) is popularly thought of as an affliction of the aged, it begins developing much earlier in an individual’s life. Among 18-24 year-olds, greater than 50% have at least one cardiovascular risk factor and nearly one-fourth have advanced atherosclerotic lesions. What’s more, studies have revealed that college students possess scant knowledge of the disease and its risk factors compared to other health issues. Large-scale health screenings are one potential method to increase CVD awareness and improve the health of this population. For a college or school of nursing, which does not already provide health screenings to campus students, a thoughtful approach to planning will build the necessary relationships and communications campaign required to reach and engage students in their heart health. Purpose: This presentation will provide a framework for the development of strategic partnerships and communications necessary to execute large scale cardiovascular screenings on a college campus of over 59,000 students. Methods: Cross campus partnerships were developed over the course of a 6-8 month time frame. Leadership from the office of the University’s President, Student Life, Student Wellness, Greek Life, and the College of Nursing collaborated on best practices for engaging college aged individuals within their subgroups. Multiple engagement activities promoting heart health were planned in an effort to raise awareness of cardiovascular risk factors and cardiovascular prevention in the younger age group. The communication campaign targeted such venues as large sporting events, student groups, and the university hospital. Results: Successful execution of four cardiovascular screenings and multiple outreach and engagement activities on cardiovascular health have occurred cross campus from August 2016-February 2017. Conclusions: The execution of large scale health screenings on college campuses takes extensive planning and collaboration from multiple groups within the university. Through the development of strong partnerships and clear communication, more students can be reached and more awareness and education on cardiovascular risk can be raised.