November 15, 2019
Honor recognizes college’s leadership in preventing heart disease and stroke

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention honored The Ohio State University College of Nursing with the 2019 Heart Healthy Stroke Free award to recognize the college’s exceptional leadership and collaboration to carry out the national Public Health Action Plan to Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke.

The College of Nursing received this award at The National Forum’s 2019 annual meeting, Catalyst for Collaboration, on October 30 in Washington D.C. The meeting convened 100 thought leaders from more than 60 public, private and nonprofit organizations. Each year at the annual meeting, the National Forum recognizes individuals and organizations who have made exceptional contributions to heart disease and stroke prevention.

“Our college is deeply committed to preventing heart attacks and strokes at Ohio State, in our community and state, and throughout the nation,” said Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing. “The partnership that we now have with more than 170 organizations, including universities, public health departments and community agencies who are using our free online Million Hearts® modules, has resulted in over 75,000 people across the U.S. being screened and educated on evidence-based strategies to prevent cardiovascular disease.”

The National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention focuses on implementing  strategies to prevent heart disease and stroke with a goal to eliminate cardiovascular health disparities and achieve health equity. The organization strives to lead and encourage collaborative action among stakeholders committed to heart disease and stroke prevention.

Ohio State and the National Forum recently partnered with the Ohio Mayors Alliance to champion heart health at the Buckeyes’ football game against Maryland on November 9 at Ohio Stadium. The effort included information sharing in the game program, on the scoreboard and on a new website supported by the Office of the Chief Wellness Officer with facts and resources to help people live healthier lives.

February 11, 2019
Partnership using national Million Hearts® initiative strategies aims to help at-risk faculty and staff at Ohio State live healthier lives

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Partners from several of The Ohio State University’s health sciences colleges and the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital cut a ceremonial ribbon today to officially open a first-in-the-nation clinic that features an innovative, evidence-based, interdisciplinary model aimed at decreasing risks for cardiovascular disease in at-risk faculty and staff at Ohio State.

The Million Hearts® Clinic at Ohio State uses evidence-based interventions and education espoused by the national Million Hearts® initiative, an effort co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services with the explicit goal to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in the United States by 2022. That includes preventive lifestyle modifications guided by focusing on what the Million Hearts® initiative calls the “ABCS” of care: aspirin therapy, blood pressure control, cholesterol management and smoking cessation. The Ohio State clinic has added a focus on stress reduction to that list because of the known adverse effects of chronic stress on the cardiovascular system. Research shows that focusing on these elements of cardiovascular disease prevention can reduced risk by as much as 80 percent and save more than 100,000 lives every year.

“We are thrilled to pioneer this innovative interprofessional approach to preventive wellness care that we hope can serve as a model nationwide,” said Vice President for Health Promotion, University Chief Wellness Officer, and dean of the College of Nursing Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN. “The Colleges of Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Education and Human Ecology along with the Ross Heart Hospital are coming together to dream, discover, and deliver a brighter and healthier future to improve heart health in our Buckeye family.”

“Since its launch, the Million Hearts® initiative has aimed to galvanize and mobilize partners in pursuit of the audacious yet attainable goal of preventing one million heart attacks and strokes,” said Janet S. Wright MD, FACC, executive director of the Million Hearts® initiative. “We know that when communities and their health care systems work together, millions of Americans across the country can live longer, healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. Finding those at risk and connecting them to care and community resources can take down the nation’s number one killer.

“This is what makes the efforts of the partners at The Ohio State University so exciting,” Wright continued. “By putting into practice many of the priorities, tools and practices advanced by the Million Hearts® initiative, Ohio State is demonstrating true leadership in cardiovascular disease prevention and a very real commitment to improving health of the university community.”

For the pilot, this clinic seeks to engage faculty and staff from Ohio State between the ages of 21-75. Participants can be either employees or spouses of employees and must have at least one of the following risk factors:

  • Overweight/obesity
  • Pre-hypertension or hypertension
  • Pre-diabetes
  • Nicotine addiction
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • A first-degree relative who had an early heart attack or stroke (under the age of 55)

Participants will first take a brief pre-survey about their health, health behaviors and health beliefs. Advanced practice nursing students, who will be overseen by nursing faculty, will then conduct a cardiovascular assessment. Patients will get individualized counseling on ways to reduce their cardiovascular risk according to the Million Hearts® initiative’s goals. Participants will self-identify key areas in their life that they want to improve and will receive prescriptions for lifestyle modifications such as exercise, diet, smoking cessation and stress reduction. The participants will then be referred to the other health sciences colleges for individualized coaching in these areas. Follow-up screenings at three- and six-month intervals will allow for comparison of the interventions over time.

“This clinic furthers our focus on proactive well-care rather than reactive sick care,” said Kate Gawlik, DNP, RN, APRN-CNP, FAANP, assistant professor of clinical nursing and project manager of the Million Hearts® initiative at Ohio State’s College of Nursing. “We are very excited about its potential and about the partnerships, professionals and students involved who will truly help our faculty and staff live healthier lives.”

The Million Hearts® Clinic at Ohio State will be offered in two locations (the College of Nursing’s Newton Hall and the Physical Activity and Education Services building) on the Columbus campus. The clinic will be offered 1-2 times per month throughout the 2019-2021 academic years.

In 2013, Dr. Bernadette Melnyk founded The National Interprofessional Education and Practice Consortium to Advance Million Hearts®, which now consists of more than 170 universities and organizations who are working together to improve cardiovascular health and well-being under the Million Hearts® initiative philosophy. An educational module built by the Colleges of Nursing, Medicine, and Pharmacy has led to the cardiovascular screening and education of more than 70,000 people nationwide.

“The Million Hearts® word and logo marks, and the Be One in a Million Hearts® slogan and logo marks and associated trade dress are owned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Use of these marks does not imply endorsement by HHS. Use of the marks also does not necessarily imply that the materials have been reviewed or approved by HHS.”

By the Numbers:
  • Nearly half of all American adults – an estimated 121 million adults – have some form of cardiovascular disease (American Heart Association)
  • Goal of Million Hearts® initiative: prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. by 2022

Phil Saken, The Ohio State University

June 01, 2015

Two organizations dedicated to improving the health of Ohioans are teaming up to target crisis levels of cardiovascular disease in the state.

The Ohio State University College of Nursing and the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) have partnered to expand participation in the Million Hearts® Initiative, a national effort launched in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. In Ohio, heart disease and stroke are the first- and fifth-leading causes of death, respectively, for both men and women, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

“Nurses are well equipped to assume a leadership role in reaching the goal of the Million Hearts initiative,” said Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, associate vice president for health promotion, university chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing at Ohio State. “As prevention and health-promotion specialists, nurses are powerfully positioned to aggressively prevent, assess and manage cardiovascular disease risk factors. We are delighted the Ohio Nurses Association is joining us on our quest to prevent heart attacks and strokes in our state and our nation.”

The College of Nursing offers a free online educational module that empowers healthcare professionals to provide cardiovascular community screenings, individualized patient education and referrals for abnormal screenings. As part of the partnership, ONA transformed the modules into free nursing continuing education for its members, for which they may earn up to 3.46 contact hours. The module was first created when the college launched the National Interprofessional Education and Practice Collaborative to Advance Million Hearts, which has resulted in more than 35,000 individuals being screened for and educated on cardiovascular disease throughout Ohio and the nation.

"The Ohio Nurses Association is thrilled to have formed this collaboration with The Ohio State University in an effort to reduce heart attack and stroke in the citizens of Ohio," Lori Chovanak, MN, RN, APRN-BC, CEO of ONA, said. "This collaborative model is the perfect conduit for our nurses to reach out to their communities and provide one-on-one attention to individuals and talk with them about their risk. If every ONA nurse reaches 10 members in their community, Ohio Nurses Association will provide 100,000 Ohioans with a free preventative screening and support for improving their overall health."

A free toolkit is available on ONA’s website to assist ONA, its members and other healthcare professionals in hosting Million Hearts events. It is designed to be a one-stop place for patient-education materials, assessor tools, event-planning tips and more.

After screenings, ONA and its members will provide anonymous data for the Million Hearts database so statewide impact can be tracked. Data to be tracked includes blood pressure, BMI, age and others.

Those interested in adding the free Million Hearts assessments to their community events may contact Molly Ackley at the Ohio Nurses Association at The free health assessments may also be conducted at workplaces as an employee benefit.

November 22, 2013

The National Interprofessional Education and Practice Consortium to Advance Million Hearts® is growing and making an impact. A Million Hearts educational module constructed by The Ohio State University Colleges of Nursing, Medicine and Pharmacy is free and online to assist with education and implementation of the Department of Health and Human Services Million Hearts initiative. The Million Hearts educational module was designed for interdisciplinary teamwork by healthcare professionals and healthcare professionals’ students. More than 55 colleges and nearly 1,000 individuals across the country have accessed and are using the educational module, with over 6,000 Americans already screened or educated about the "ABCs" of the Million Hearts initiative. The goals of the educational module are to educate healthcare professional students and healthcare professionals on the Million Hearts initiative, increase Million Hearts screenings, education nationwide and improve population cardiovascular health. Join the National Interprofessional Education and Practice Consortium to Advance Million Hearts and prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017: