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The American Heart Association is a non-profit organization in the United States that fosters appropriate cardiac care in an effort to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke. Originally formed in New York City in 1915 as the Association for the Prevention and Relief of Heart Disease, it is currently headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The American Heart Association is a national voluntary health agency. They are known for publishing standards on basic life support and advanced cardiac life support , and in 2014 issued its first guidelines for preventing strokes in women. They are known also for operating a number of highly visible public service campaigns starting in the 1970s, and also operate a number of fundraising events. In 1994, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, an industry publication, released a study that showed the American Heart Association was ranked as the 5th "most popular charity/non-profit in America." Elliott Antman, M.D., is president of the American Heart Association for its 2014-15 fiscal year. Wikipedia.

Andreatta P.B.,University of Michigan | Andreatta P.B.,American Heart Association
Health Care Management Review | Year: 2010

Background: Effective interdisciplinary health care teamwork improves clinical and financial outcomes, and training and assessment of team competencies are central to establishing high-functioning health care teams. The roles that team members assume in the provision of patient care are important contributors to effective health care team performance; however, variability among health care practitioners can lead to philosophical, political, social, and clinical differences in perceptions and recommendations for patient care as well as expected communication patterns and protocols. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the roles and behaviors within variable health care teams in the provision of patient care across multiple clinical practice areas to inform a model for team development strategies. Methodology: Interdisciplinary health care teams were observed in vivo during the routine course of their work in multiple patient care contexts. Data were collected and analyzed using qualitative methods of observation and categorization, with supplemental interviews to substantiate, to clarify, and to verify observations. The constant comparative method of data analyses was used to derive a compositional typology for health care teams. Findings: A compositional typology for health care teams emerged from the data specifying four types of health care teams: stable role, stable personnel (Type SRSP); stable role, variable personnel (Type SRVP); variable role, stable personnel (Type VRSP); and variable role, variable personnel (Type VRVP). Implications: Results suggest that health care teams may be more complicated than non-health care teams, and team models with associated derived competencies from other professions may not wholly transfer to health care. A singular model to inform best practices for health care team development may not adequately address the specific performance challenges of each team type. Adaptable development strategies for each type of team and its associated role membership may be required to optimize team performance. The health care team typology derived from this study may help inform the selection of appropriate team development strategies and define associated team competencies. Copyright © 2010 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Background-In heart failure (HF), a defective nitric oxide signaling is involved in left ventricular (LV) diastolic abnormalities and remodeling. PDE5 inhibition, by blocking degradation of nitric oxide second-messenger cyclic guanosine monophosphate, might be beneficial. In a cohort of systolic HF patients, we tested the effects of PDE5 inhibition (sildenafil) on LV ejection fraction, diastolic function, cardiac geometry, and clinical status. Methods and Results-Forty-five HF patients (New York Heart Association class II-III) were randomly assigned to placebo or sildenafil (50 mg three times per day) for 1 year, with assessment (6 months and 1 year) of LV ejection fraction, diastolic function, geometry, cardiopulmonary exercise performance, and quality of life. In the sildenafil group only, at 6 months and 1 year, LV ejection fraction, early diastolic tissue Doppler velocities (E') at the mitral lateral (from 4.62 to 5.20 and 5.19 m/s) and septal (from 4.71 to 5.23 and 5.24 m/s) annuli significantly increased, whereas the ratio of early transmitral (E) to E' lateral decreased (from 13.1 to 9.8 to 9.4) (P-0.01). Changes were accompanied by a reverse remodeling of left atrial volume index (from 32.0 to 29.0 and 29.1 mL/m2; P<0.01) and LV mass index (from 148.0 to 130.0 and 128.0 g/m 2; P<0.01). Furthermore, sildenafil improved exercise performance (peak VO2), ventilation efficiency (ventilation to CO2 production slope), and quality of life (P<0.01). Minor adverse effects were noted: flushing in 4 and headache in 2 treated patients. Conclusions-Findings confirm that in HF, sildenafil improves functional capacity and clinical status and provide the first human evidence that LV diastolic function and cardiac geometry are additional targets of benefits related to chronic PDE5 inhibition. © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.

Taylor A.J.,The American College | Cerqueira M.,Official American Society of Nuclear Cardiology Representative | Hodgson J.M.,Official Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions Representative | Mark D.,The American College | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Year: 2010

The American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF), along with key specialty and subspecialty societies, conducted an appropriate use review of common clinical scenarios where cardiac computed tomography (CCT) is frequently considered. The present document is an update to the original CCT/cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) appropriateness criteria published in 2006, written to reflect changes in test utilization, to incorporate new clinical data, and to clarify CCT use where omissions or lack of clarity existed in the original criteria (1). The indications for this review were drawn from common applications or anticipated uses, as well as from current clinical practice guidelines. Ninety-three clinical scenarios were developed by a writing group and scored by a separate technical panel on a scale of 1 to 9 to designate appropriate use, inappropriate use, or uncertain use. In general, use of CCT angiography for diagnosis and risk assessment in patients with low or intermediate risk or pretest probability for coronary artery disease (CAD) was viewed favorably, whereas testing in high-risk patients, routine repeat testing, and general screening in certain clinical scenarios were viewed less favorably. Use of noncontrast computed tomography (CT) for calcium scoring was rated as appropriate within intermediate- and selected low-risk patients. Appropriate applications of CCT are also within the category of cardiac structural and functional evaluation. It is anticipated that these results will have an impact on physician decision making, performance, and reimbursement policy, and that they will help guide future research. © 2010 American College of Cardiology Foundation.

Mosca L.,Columbia University | Mochari-Greenberger H.,Columbia University | Dolor R.J.,Duke Clinical Research Institute | Newby L.K.,Duke Clinical Research Institute | Robb K.J.,American Heart Association
Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes | Year: 2010

Background-Awareness of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk has been linked to taking preventive action in women. The purpose of this study was to assess contemporary awareness of CVD risk and barriers to prevention in a nationally representative sample of women and to evaluate trends since 1997 from similar triennial surveys. Methods and Results-A standardized survey about awareness of CVD risk was completed in 2009 by 1142 women ≥25 years of age, contacted through random digit dialing oversampled for racial/ethnic minorities, and by 1158 women contacted online. There was a significant increase in the proportion of women aware that CVD is the leading cause of death since 1997 (P for trend=<0.0001). Awareness among telephone participants was greater in 2009 compared with 1997 (54% versus 30%, P>0.0001) but not different from 2006 (57%). In multivariate analysis, African American and Hispanic women were significantly less aware than white women, although the gap has narrowed since 1997. Only 53% of women said they would call 9-1-1 if they thought they were having symptoms of a heart attack. The majority of women cited therapies to prevent CVD that are not evidence-based. Common barriers to prevention were family/caretaking responsibilities (51%) and confusion in the media (42%). Community-level changes women thought would be helpful were access to healthy foods (91%), public recreation facilities (80%), and nutrition information in restaurants (79%). Conclusions-Awareness of CVD as the leading cause of death among women has nearly doubled since 1997 but is stabilizing and continues to lag in racial/ethnic minorities. Numerous misperceptions and barriers to prevention persist and women strongly favored environmental approaches to facilitate preventive action. © 2010 American Heart Association, Inc.

The first Wednesday in April is National Walking Day in America. The American Heart Association reminds everyone that thirty minutes of walking a day can save your life. Except in America today walking is being turned into something that people are too scared to do, that if they are not careful they might lose their life. Walking used to be easy; something where you just put on your shoes and go. Baudelaire, who described a flâneur, an urban walker, in the 1860s: The crowd is his element, as the air is that of birds and water of fishes. His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. On the Medical Daily, Susan Scutti writes about walking that "there are no rules." But alas, that isn't true anymore. Even she writes: Walking can be an adventure, allowing you to learn new corners of your world, so pay attention to what is happening around you. Though you might want to take a shortcut or wander down a quiet street, if you are in an unfamiliar area, it might be best to stay on the well-traveled avenues where businesses are open and other people are near. Be safe when you stroll by wearing light colors, reflective clothing, or carrying a flashlight or glow stick when you go out during the evening or at night. If you wear headphones, make sure you remain aware of traffic, and if you have to step into the street, watch for cars. What would Baudelaire say about that? Be careful where you go, stick with crowds, dress up like a Christmas tree and carry lights. And GOD FORBID DON'T USE YOUR CELLPHONE! Walking has been turned into scary stuff, something that you have to arm yourself for now. In New Jersey, they are talking about making it illegal to use your phone while you walk. The Orthopaedic surgeons are running a campaign (paid for by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers) suggesting that we not even talk to people or kids and walk at the same time. None of this is new, the automobile industry has been at it since the twenties, taking over all of the street real estate for themselves and leaving a thin strip along the edge for everybody else. Michael Lewyn of the Touro Law Center writes in the Criminalization of walking: Because walking improves human health and reduces pollution, one might think that the law should encourage walking and discourage driving. But in fact, criminal law sometimes punishes walkers, in two major respects. First, state and city laws against something often referred to as “jaywalking” limit walkers’ ability to cross streets. As a result of these laws, police can fine (and even arrest) walkers. Second, bureaucrats and police sometimes interpret child neglect laws to mean that preteen children may never walk on their own, and have sometimes arrested child pedestrians' parents or sought to place the children in state care. He notes that jaywalking laws "began as special-interest legislation pushed by the auto industry in order to deflect public attention from deaths caused by car crashes." I would submit that all these new campaigns about clothing, cellphones and flashlights are exactly the same thing. It would be too much for them to get legislation to ban walking while deaf, old or short (although that often gets the driver off the hook). I will reiterate: People should watch where they are going, and should not look at their phones while crossing the street. But the point of these campaigns is not out of any concern for the poor pedestrians getting killed; it is to change the mindset. If blaming the victim is too harsh, then it is to shift the burden. Because 130 times as many deaths and injuries are caused by distracted driving. So Happy National Walking Day, get out and do it, and don't take any guff from those drivers! The more of us there are out there, the safer we are.

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