Million Hearts Community Outreach and Engagement

Monday, 18 November 2013: 3:55 PM

Margaret C Graham, PhD, FNP, PNP, FAANP, FAAN
Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FNAP, FAAN
Kate E Gawlik, ANP, MS, RN
College of Nursing, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Background: Million Hearts™ is a national initiative launched by the Department of Health and Human Services in September 2011 to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in a 5 year time frame.

Aims: The Million HeartsTM initiative aims to increase awareness about heart disease prevention and empower patients to take control of their heart health. The goals of this session are to provide examples for nursing and interprofessional colleges of Million Hearts outreach and engagement opportunities and to discuss ways to provide continuity of care and community follow-up after screenings.

Methods: The Ohio State University is currently participating in several Million Hearts community outreach activities include engaging local congregations, participation in community health fairs and large scale screening events, and integration of Million Hearts with The Wexner Medical Center new hire onboarding process. The Ohio State University College of Nursing is also partnering with OSU Extension to bring Million Hearts screenings and educational classes to rural Ohio. Rural communities may not have access to adequate resources or follow-up. Following screenings, participants are referred to classes in their area for continuity of care with trained educators. OSU Extension, in collaboration with the College of Nursing, is developing a curriculum centered around the “ABCSS” that will provide further information on how to reduce cardiovascular modifiable risk factors and help people make healthy behavior changes.  The curriculum centers around hands-on education such as food preparation and sample tastings, how to monitor blood pressure, and stress reduction methods.

Findings: There  are endless possibilties to advancing Million HeartsTM through community engagement and screenings that are beneficial and well received by the community. 

Implications: Colleges of Nursing can find many ways to engage the community and their students in Million HeartsTM while providing the necessary follow-up for at-risk screening participants.