FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Women, rural areas, and inner city populations have unique needs when it comes to preventing and managing cardiovascular disease, Primaris CEO Richard A. Royer told a group of physicians and other healthcare professionals Friday at the Missouri Million Hearts conference in Columbia, Mo.
“The healthcare landscape is changing,” Royer said, noting how the changes are creating “challenges and opportunities” for preventing and treating cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease, or CVD, is the leading cause of death in Missouri and in the nation. Additionally, other chronic conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, can lead to CVD.
Although of rate of CVD deaths in Missouri is increasing at a slower rate than other diseases and conditions, Royer said that physicians and health systems, as well as patients, continue to face challenges with CVD, the cost of care, and access to care.
One of the shared concerns among women, rural areas, and inner city population is access to medical care, especially for those without insurance. Low-income individuals and those without insurance or ready access to care are less likely to receive the timely medical care needed to manage the disease.
An estimated 15 million Americans have active symptoms of CVD and countless others with related chronic conditions are “on a collision course” with heart diseases, Royer said. He added that healthcare providers – physicians, specialists, nurses, hospitals and clinics – are only part of the equation.
“Perhaps additional funding for public health initiatives can help reduce CVD disease and death rates even further by working with communities and individuals to make vital lifestyle changes,” Royer said. He referred to obesity as “public enemy number one.”
“The patient must be involved if we are going to turn this around,” he said.
The intended audience for the Missouri Million Hearts conference included physicians, nurses, pharmacists, public health officials and educators, community health workers, and the general public who are interested in learning more about preventing cardiovascular disease. Other speakers included Dr. David Barbe, president of the American Medical Association, and Dr. Janet Wright, executive director of National Million Hearts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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.