As medical and public health professionals meet Friday in St. Louis to kick off American Heart Month with National Wear Red Day at the Missouri Million Hearts annual conference, Primaris CEO Richard A. Royer will be reminding attendees of the terrible toll of cardiovascular disease.
“Heart disease and stroke are the top two causes of death on the planet,” Royer said, previewing his remarks as a conference keynote speaker Friday at the Hilton St. Louis Airport. Royer’s 10 a.m. presentation topic is quality improvement and reimbursement in CVD prevention and management.
Royer said his keynote will encourage clinicians to consider underused or new opportunities for helping prevent and treat CVD “while also examining ways that you might be leaving money on the table when it comes to that preventive care, treatment, and rehabilitation.”
National Wear Red Day, nationally sponsored by CVS Health in partnership with the American Heart Association, puts special emphasis on cardiovascular diseases as “a woman’s greatest health threat.”
Some 14,000 Missourians die each year as a result of heart disease and heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
The AHA also notes these sobering statistics: 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease and stroke and 1 in 3 women is living with some form of CVD.
Nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes, AHA officials said. That finding parallels Royer’s remarks as a keynote presenter at the 2018 Missouri Million Hearts conference in Columbia: “The patient must be involved if we are going to turn this around.”
American Heart Month
American Heart Month is a federally designated event that takes place every February. During Heart Month, the American Heart Association encourages people to focus on their heart health and to inspire their family, friends and communities to do the same.
- The first American Heart Month took place in February of 1964.
- It was proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in December of 1963.
- At that time, more than half the deaths in the U.S. were caused by cardiovascular disease.
- Cardiovascular disease remains the leading global cause of death, with more than 17.9 million deaths each year. That number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030.
- Stroke ranks second globally and is a leading cause of severe disability.
The public is encouraged to wear red on Friday and promote the awareness-raising day through the hashtag #GoRedMO. During February, Missourians are encouraged to post their picture making a heart with their hands and share why they will show more heart during American Heart Month with the hashtag #showMOheart.
The American Heart Association recently launched #NoMOHeartDisease, a year-long initiative to reduce heart disease in Missouri. Through survivor stories, #NoMOHeartDisease educates Missourians on the risks and prevalence of heart disease, and the changes they can make to prevent it.
About Go Red for Women
The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement is nationally sponsored by CVS Health, with additional support from national cause supporters. Connect with us on GoRedforWomen.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-888-MY-HEART.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
Primaris is a healthcare consulting firm that works with hospitals, physicians, and nursing homes to drive better health outcomes, improved patient experience, and reduced costs. For more information, visit www.primaris.org and follow @primaris_health.
About Missouri Million Hearts
Missouri Million Hearts is part of a national campaign formed to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.
The partnership of key health organizations in Missouri raises awareness by highlighting the cooperation and individual work of the partners to achieve the shared goal of saving lives from heart disease and stroke.