Image to illustrate heart care.
It is important to intensify education about heart care. Photo: Pixabay.

New program launched to prevent cardiovascular accidents

The initiative is focused on health equity and the heart-brain connection.


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American Heart Association, the world's leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, with the support and collaboration of HCA Healthcare Inc., one of the nation's leading health care providers, and HCA Healthcare Foundation, presented “Getting to the Heart of Stroke,” its proposal to offer education to consumers and health professionals throughout the country, especially deepening the collaboration between neurology and cardiology.

The organization highlights the importance of understanding and managing risk factors and heart-related conditions to reduce the chance of having a stroke, potentially improving outcomes in communities with health service disparities.

Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association, stated:

What’s good for the heart is good for the brain, but the reverse is also true: problems with the heart, including AFib, are well-documented as major stroke risk factors.


The initiative features several efforts focused on preventing initial and recurrent strokes, as well as improving overall stroke care.

Among the actions taken, the following stand out:

  • Educating and deepening the collaboration between health care professionals, especially in neurology and cardiology.
  • Empowering consumers to know and better manage their stroke risk, including through the use of a new stroke self-management tool, along with greater engagement with patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib) through the Association’s MyAFibExperience patient support network.
  • Improving the overall health of communities by addressing disparities through local health impact work.
  • Getting to the Heart of Stroke educates on care across medical disciplines and specialties, addressing risk factor management for people at increased risk of stroke from atrial fibrillation.

“To effectively combat stroke, we need to work together and elevate the heart-brain connection among health care professionals, while simultaneously addressing health disparities and resource gaps in our communities. We are not a one-size-fits-all nation and neither is the most successful approach to public health,” added Brown.

The national initiative, which will roll out to 15 select communities, will also develop accredited educational programming that will be available to all healthcare professionals, and a targeted learning collaboration with 10 HCA Healthcare facilities focused on continually improving quality of care.


“Getting to the Heart of Stroke and our support of the American Heart Association further demonstrates our unwavering commitment to the individuals, families and communities we serve. Through this collaboration, we hope to have a significant impact in improving heart and brain health outcomes in order to beat stroke,” said Sam Hazen, Chief Executive Officer of HCA Healthcare and Chairman of HCA Healthcare Foundation. 

For his part, Steven Manoukian, MD, FAHA, Senior Vice President of HCA Healthcare, noted: “We are proud to be collaborating with the American Heart Association and recognize that increased education and connectivity between our neurology and cardiology health care teams, patients and communities are integral to reducing the devastation of stroke, determining its underlying cardiac causes, such as AFib and structural heart disease and preventing another one. Through this unique and multi-faceted initiative with the AHA, everyone will become better at Getting to the Heart of Stroke.”

For local HCA Healthcare hospital systems participating in Getting to the Heart of Stroke, click here.


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