Inaugural Stronger Hearts Best Practices Awardees Recognized for Community-Based Programs Addressing Heart Failure Patients

WASHINGTON, DC – 17 Mar, 2017 – Two programs that have shown promise in improving heart failure outcomes will be recognized on Saturday in the Patient Engagement Pavilion at the 2017 American College of Cardiology’s 66th Annual Scientific Sessions & Expo.  Clyde W. Yancy, MD, MSc, MACC, Professor & Chief of Cardiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, will present the Stronger Hearts™ Best Practices Award to the Ambulatory Heart Failure Care Management Team from Mercy Clinic East (St. Louis, MO) and ENABLE CHF-PC (Educate, Nurture, Advise, Before Life Ends: Comprehensive Heartcare for Patients and Caregivers) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).  

The goal of the Stronger Hearts™ Best Practices Award program is to reduce the burden of heart failure by illuminating community programs that improve outcomes so they can be replicated in additional communities.  The awards were created by the National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention on recommendation of the Stronger Hearts™ Partnership, a group of recognized leaders in medicine, nursing, health systems, public health, disparities, communications, and civic engagement convened by the National Forum. Dr. Yancy chairs the expert panel. 

“More than five million Americans live with heart failure, and many millions more are at risk. Heart failure patients and their families face many challenges in receiving the care and support they need,” Dr. Clyde Yancy, Chair, Stronger Hearts™ Partnership states. “Programs like the Ambulatory Heart Failure Care Management Team and ENABLE are making a difference, and serve as examples of what other communities can do in providing effective, comprehensive, innovative, and patient-focused care to those who need it.”  

The Ambulatory Heart Failure Care Management Team specifically targets high-risk heart failure patients, assisting them and their caregivers with the transition from hospital to ambulatory setting, with the goal to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.  

The multi-disciplinary team treats the whole person, addressing mental, social, and physiological factors, including home visits made by nurses and a social worker. Innovative care strategies allow for both quick intervention, and reaching many patients in a short amount of time.  

To-date, the Ambulatory Heart Failure Care Management Team has followed 358 high-risk heart failure patients. The 30-day unplanned readmission rate of patients managed by the team is currently 7.7 percent, and the hospital’s current heart failure readmission rate is 16 percent (as compared to 18.9 percent in 2014) and the national rate of 21.9 percent. 

ENABLE CHF-PC improves access to needed services within patients’ communities, targeting rural, minority, military, Veteran, underserved, and older adults. Pilot projects including both patient and caregiver participants, showed that participants experienced improvements in quality of life (QOL), symptoms, physical and mental health, higher activation, and lower burden, while requiring only nominal healthcare resources. ENABLE CHF-PC evolved from a needs assessment and multiple pilot projects with input from patients and clinicians and is now being tested in a National Institutes of Health-funded study. 

The National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention brings together the most dynamic and diverse organizations in cardiovascular health, providing a forum and outlet for organizations to amplify their voices. Our members currently represent more than 80 national and international organizations from the public and private healthcare organizations, as well as, faith, advocacy, academic, and policy settings. The National Forum is an independent non-profit, 501(c)(3), voluntary health organization. Funding for the Stronger Hearts™ Partnership and Stronger Hearts™ Best Practices Award provided by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. 

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