Heart disease continues to be the nation’s leading cause of death, with about 600,000 people dying every year. In all, about 26.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with heart disease (that’s 11.5 percent of all adults!).
With such huge numbers of people affected by this disease, it’s no wonder the medical community emphasizes cardiac care in February. Join this effort, which includes American Heart Month, Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day (Feb. 14), Cardiovascular Professionals Week (Feb. 14–20), Cardiac Rehabilitation Week (Feb. 14–20), and National Wear Red Day (Feb. 5). And don’t forget what may be the most symbolic heart day there is: Valentine’s Day.
- Partner with a local cardiologist and sponsor a heart health-focused education class for local women’s groups in your area.
- Distribute free flyers featuring the warning signs of a heart attack, as well as your agency’s disease-specific brochures at all your local medical office waiting rooms.
- Join forces with a local registered dietitian and have community classes about heart-healthy foods. Create a mini-cookbook on your agency’s letterhead. Find recipe inspiration here.
- The best way to show referral sources that you’re the best choice to keep their patients healthy and out of the hospital are your positive outcomes. Use your outcomes scores as compared with statewide and national averages to demonstrate your agency’s success. Highlight them this month as you visit cardiologists, hospital discharge planners and other referral sources. Home health agencies: don’t forget to include your Quality of Patient Care star rating!
- Set up a booth with a clinician at a community health fair this month and offer free cholesterol screenings. Make sure you have plenty of information about cardiovascular diseases on hand, as well as your agency’s marketing materials.