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APhA CEO Blog

Pharmacists are key to heart health

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February 28, 2017

Just a quick note on this last day of American Heart Month—the Million Hearts initiative has announced that since it has reached the end of its first phase it will expand its focus into new areas to fight heart disease. Million Hearts 2022 will center on keeping people in the community healthy, optimizing care, and focusing on priority populations. The “ABCS” (aspirin, blood pressure, cholesterol, and smoking) components that pharmacists contributed to addressing in Million Hearts 1.0 continue in this next phase. APhA will remain closely involved to identify opportunities and expand pharmacist engagement in this important initiative.

APhA is proud to stand as a partner in Million Hearts since its launch, and we will keep working with CDC, CMS, communities, health professionals, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector organizations that have collaborated to advance national cardiovascular disease prevention efforts.

Pharmacists understand well that even the most comprehensive treatment plan will not be effective if it is not correctly followed. To emphasize what we have to offer, on Friday, February 24, APhA member and media advisor Mohamed Jalloh, PharmD, spoke to more than 20 online, radio, and broadcast media outlets on behalf of APhA about the importance of medication adherence, particularly as it pertains to cardiovascular conditions like atrial fibrillation, and how pharmacists can help to make sure patients are taking the right medicines, at the right dose, for the right reasons.

We will continue to highlight the ways pharmacists can leverage their position as the most accessible health care provider to help patients get the most from their medication therapy, including medication adherence, monitor blood pressure at home, and undertake nonmedical steps to achieving and maintaining heart health, like kicking the tobacco habit and getting more physical activity. Pharmacists can also transform heart health as an active participant in team-based health care.

As part of the Million Hearts initiative and as a profession, pharmacists need to keep talking about the ways we can enhance the fight against heart disease. Stay tuned to www.pharmacist.com and http://millionhearts.hhs.gov to learn how.