February is American Heart Month

American Heart Month is honored annually during the month of February to spotlight the impact of heart disease on the lives of millions of Americans and to encourage Americans to focus on their cardiovascular health.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women nationwide, devastating families and communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one person dies every 36 seconds in the U.S. from cardiovascular disease and about 659,000 people in the U.S. die from heart disease each year – that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.

And the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted cardiovascular health, with many people delaying or avoiding going to hospitals for heart attacks and strokes.

During American Heart Month, to highlight and prevent heart disease, community health centers can reinforce the importance of cardiovascular health by encouraging patients to focus on maintaining a healthy heart. Check out the resources below for information and materials to share in your health center and to learn more about heart health.

American Heart Month Resources

  • American Heart Month Toolkits 2022: The CDC developed toolkits to implement evidence-based hypertension control strategies. These toolkits are designed for anyone who works with patients or individuals with hypertension. Included in the toolkits are printable, shareable, and patient-friendly handouts, social media messaging, and graphics to share in your health centers and virtual waiting rooms.
  • CDC Million Hearts Partner Call: The Million Hearts® SMBP Forum convenes SMBP implementers, facilitators, and other SMBP supports quarterly to exchange knowledge, identify obstacles, and surface solutions to advance the practice of SMBP nationwide. The January Million Hearts Call provided important announcements, updates, and links, click here to access the information and click here for the slides. For more information, please contact: millionheartssmbp@nachc.org. Click here to register for the March 10th call.
  • HRSA Heart Health Office Hours: HRSA offers quarterly office hours on Heart Health; recording and slides from August 26th call to be made available shortly (e.g. review of UDS heart health metrics, and resources). To stay tuned for the next HRSA Heart Health Office Hours make sure to sign up for their newsletter by clicking here.
  • Million Hearts
    • Million Hearts COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Disease Partner Toolkit: During the COVID-19 pandemic, cardiovascular health remains a top public health priority. Public health officials are now warning about the relationship between COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease. Not only have there been more deaths from cardiovascular disease during the pandemic, but people who have serious heart conditions are also at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  This toolkit includes tools approved by CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention that you can use to encourage individuals to continue seeking cardiovascular care at this time.
    • Million Hearts Learning Lab: Features clinical trainings in March and May specific to the care and treatment of high blood cholesterol and hypertension.
    • NIH “Mind Your Risks” Campaign: NIH has developed a new campaign to create awareness among African American men at risk for heart attack and stroke. The campaign page will be continuously updated and contains information for patients and clinicians as well as an informational video.
    • "Start Small. Live Big" Campaign: Million Hearts® collaborated with the CDC Foundation to develop a new campaign to remind people in the United States to make cardiovascular health a priority, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This toolkit includes messages and tools that health care professionals can use to encourage adults 55 and over to practice heart-healthy habits that can help lower their risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • NACHC Million Hearts Initiative: NACHC and the CDC are partnered together to reduce heart attacks and strokes to help achieve the Million Hearts® 2022 goals. The current focus has been to implement strategies to reduce undiagnosed hypertension, improve use of statins in high-risk patients, improve hypertension management and control for African Americans, and expanding use of self-measured blood pressure monitoring.
  • National Hypertension Control Initiative Community Health Center Resource Library: These resources are intended to support clinical providers in the implementation of self-monitored blood pressure (SMBP). Topics include the scientific evidence and rationale for SMBP, technical considerations for SMBP, patient education, and details on the Measure Accurately, Act Rapidly, Partner with Patients (MAP) framework.
  • Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring (SMBP) Resources
    • Target: BP Improvement Program: An evidence-based protocol to guide the way you and your team assess and treat people with high blood pressure, following clinical best practices, and enabling patient self-measurement where appropriate.
    • Updated NACHC SMBP Implementation Toolkit: This toolkit is designed to help organizations implement self-measured blood pressure monitoring (SMBP) successfully into their care processes and workflows.
    • NACHC SMBP Implementation Guide: This implementation guide is designed to help guide health care delivery organizations to implement SMBP into practice or optimize their existing SMBP processes in a systematic way. It includes change ideas, implementation tips, and tools and resources to set up SMBP successfully based on your goals, environment, and community partners/assets.

CHCANYS Upcoming Hypertension Webinar Series

In Recognition of American Heart Health Awareness Month Register for CHCANYS Hypertension Care & Management Webinar Series
Join us for a dynamic webinar series meant to inform and advance your health center’s hypertension care and management efforts with guest speakers Erika Drury, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine/Nephrology and Hanna Mieszczanska, MD, FACC, Associate Professor of Medicine/Cardiology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

Part One: Exploring Prevalence Rates and Health Disparities in Hypertension
Friday, March 4, 1:00-2:00 p.m.



  • Describe disparities in hypertension prevalence, awareness, and control
  • Identify factors that contribute to disparities in hypertension care
  • Review strategies to address disparities in hypertension ​


Part Two: Strategies to Advance Patient Adherence in Hypertension Care
Tuesday, May 10, 1:00-2:00 p.m.



  • Identify strategies and interventions meant to accelerate patient self-management, medication adherence, health literacy and more!


CHCANYS Upcoming Practice Transformation Opportunity
The CHCANYS Final Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control (DCPC) Cohort is launching in July 2022. For the Final DCPC Cohort, sites will participate in either the Diabetes or Cardiovascular Disease category of this year-long partnership, and focus on specific strategies to improve the prevention and management of patients with pre-diabetes and diabetes or hypertension and high-blood cholesterol. Take advantage of this process and performance improvement opportunity in order to:

  • Establish partnerships with community-based organizations that offer evidence-based lifestyle change and self-management programs, and improve your referral tracking and management processes;
  • Optimize your team-based care workflows and processes;
  • Maximize use of your health IT, inclusive of population health management and data analytics;
  • Increase patient self-management, empowerment, and adherence;
  • Become part of a network wide peer-learning and sharing network, which includes access to our DCPC SharePoint Portal that houses evidence-based guidelines, promising practices, past recordings, slides, and more!

For questions, reach out to Meital Fried-Almog at malmog@chcanys.org or Mercy Mbogori at mmbogori@chcanys.org

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