January 11, 2018

Gov. Kasich declares Feb. 14 "Million Hearts® Day"

Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich has issued an official proclamation declaring Feb. 14 as Million Hearts® Day in the state of Ohio.

“We are thrilled that the governor has recognized this important national and statewide initiative to save lives by raising awareness of key strategies to prevent cardiovascular disease,” said Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, vice president for health promotion, chief wellness officer and dean of the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University. 

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the nation’s leading cause of death for men and women of all races and ethnicities, yet 80 percent of CVD is preventable through healthy lifestyle behaviors. The national Million Hearts® Initiative is a collaborative effort to increase education about risk factors and save lives by helping people make heart-healthy choices.  

The Ohio State University partnered with Million Hearts® when it began five years ago, the first university-wide partnership. This year, hundreds of biometric screenings will be offered to Ohio State faculty and staff on Valentine’s Day in the College of Nursing at Newton Hall, located at 1585 Neil Ave.

“Ohio State has a goal to be the healthiest campus in the world,” said Melnyk. “Partnering with Million Hearts® and offering screenings around Valentine’s Day is a reminder to everyone that we can engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors to promote optimal health and well-being.” 

This year, Melnyk has also promoted screenings at campuses and communities across the state through the newest Million Hearts® partner, the Ohio Council of Deans and Directors (OCDD), which includes 42 colleges and nursing schools.

“The interest in participating in this program is strong among our nursing colleges,” said Melnyk, who serves as the group’s current president. “We are excited that several of the schools have already scheduled screenings for this week, and we know that others will follow throughout the year.” 

The Million Hearts® Initiative began in 2012 with an ambitious goal to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017, co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. More than 150 organizations, including The Ohio State University, joined the initiative and designed a variety of innovative strategies to improve cardiovascular health around the nation. The success of the initiative heralds a renewed effort to save more American lives by preventing one million heart attacks and strokes by 2022.

At Ohio State, the College of Nursing launched the Million Hearts interprofessional educational module as part of its National Interprofessional Education and Practice Consortium to Advance Million Hearts®. 

The Million Hearts® program encourages simple and healthy actions that can provide reduced heart attack and stroke rates. The pillars of the Million Hearts® initiative are the ABCS of care:

A - aspirin when appropriate

B - blood-pressure control

C - cholesterol management

S - smoking cessation

Because stress is another major factor that places individuals at risk for heart attack and stroke, Ohio State also recognizes stress reduction as a second “S” during preventive screenings.

A free webinar will provide more information about the educational module on Thursday, Feb. 15. Access to the webinar is available here.

Dial-in telephone number: 1-877-820-7831
Participant Passcode: 636580#

Million Hearts® screenings are also being held at Cedarville University, Malone University, Muskingum University, Ohio Christian University, Ursuline College, University of Cincinnati and Xavier University. Screening participants will learn their risk factors for heart attacks and stroke and will receive information on improving their heart health. 

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