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Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Subject: A Message from HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield - the Million Hearts Initiative

In September 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the Million Hearts Initiative which aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next 5 years. Cardiovascular disease remains the most common cause of death in the United States, and the Million Hearts Initiative is rallying private and public partners around two goals:

Co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Million Hearts Initiative focuses on five pillars:

  1. Increase attention around the ABCS;
  2. Encourage meaningful use of health information technology (HIT);
  3. Deliver care innovations;
  4. Foster community innovations; and
  5. Measure successes and shortfalls in clinical and community prevention.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is actively supporting this national initiative with activities across the agency. HRSA provides supports and services to populations which are disproportionately impacted by chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease that causes disability and early death. There are a number of current federal initiatives that complement the Million Hearts Initiative such as the Make the Call; Don't Miss a Beat campaign. This national public outreach campaign, developed by the HHS Office on Women’s Health, aims to educate, engage, and empower women and their families to learn about the common symptoms of a heart attack and to call 9-1-1 if they experience any of those symptoms. For more information, go to: www.WomensHealth.gov/HeartAttack/.

As an essential partner, your participation and involvement is critical to this important new initiative that will affect millions of Americans. Communication tools as well as additional information about the initiative are available at http://millionhearts.hhs.gov We hope that you will work with us and your other health and community partners to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease. 


Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N.