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February is American Heart Month
And Black History Month!

Every year, the ABC proudly observes Black History and Heart Month along with its public, private and governmental partners from around the world. This year marks the 56th anniversary of Heart Month and the 94th “annual salute” to Black History (with the theme, “African Americans and The Vote.")

Discover the different ways the ABC is commemorating the month of February.
ABC, Alliance for Aging Research to Celebrate Fourth Annual Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day
ABC has once again teamed up with the Alliance for Aging Research and its 70+ partners to bring awareness to those at risk of Heart Valve Disease (HVD). Since 2017, Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day has been celebrated during American Heart Month on February 22nd to increase recognition of the specific risks and symptoms of heart valve disease, improve detection and treatment, and ultimately save lives. The day is recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on its National Health Observances Calendar, and by a Congressional Resolution in the 114th U.S. Congress.

Despite the fact that new and emerging technologies are now widely available in most major hospitals, there still exists a major gap regarding access by minority patients to these life-saving procedures. Minority and underserved patients receive far fewer treatments for HVD, despite comparable surgical and transcatheter outcomes. ABC and the Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day partners are dedicated to using education and advocacy to reduce the number of people who lose their independence and their ability to fully participate in their lives; experience heart attacks, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, and other heart disease; suffer from strokes; and even die from heart valve disease.

Throughout February, Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day (Feb. 22) is being promoted with events and campaigns to spread the word. The ABC will participate in a "Blog Carnival" on February 18, a Twitter Chat on February 19 and a Facebook Live/Flagship Event on February 22. Visit the ABC website for updates and ValveDiseaseDay.org to learn more about the campaign and other awareness day events.

You and/or your practice can get involved by accessing and downloading resources here.
ABC, WomenHeart Highlight Heart Journeys of Black Women for Black History and Heart Month
For the fourth consecutive year, the ABC is partnering with WomenHeart on their #29DaysOfHeart campaign for both Black History and Heart Months. The annual social media effort is intended to uplift voices of black women and highlight their own heart journeys, while raising awareness about risk factors and heart healthy living among communities of color on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It will also shine a spotlight on the disproportionate impact of heart disease among African-American women. Please join the ABC in spreading these stories, heart health information, and resources! You can access social media messages and downloadable graphics on WomenHeart.org.
ABC, NHLBI and The Heart Truth® Encourage Heart Healthy Lifestyles - Together
The ABC along with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and The Heart Truth® is celebrating American Heart Month by motivating Americans to adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent heart disease. Research shows that we're more successful at meeting personal health goals when we join forces with others. That's why the ABC is asking ABC members to join the #OurHearts movement--a national initiative to encourage people across the country to engage in heart-healthy lifestyles together - with their friends, family, coworkers, and others in their community. This will be the second year in a row that ABC has supported this movement.

Weekly themes for this year will include the following: Be physically active together, Eat healthier together, Track your heart health stats together and Manage stress, sleep better, and quit smoking together.

As you plan your February activities, please visit nhlbi.nih.gov/heartmonth for access to:
  • #OurHearts Digital Toolkit: Easily access promotional resources and find specific recommendations on how to get involved in #OurHearts-themed weeks. Resources include new animated GIFs, fact sheets, drop-in articles for blogs and newsletters, and social media graphics.
  • Our Hearts Interactive Map: This interactive map highlights #OurHearts health events and social media activities across the country. Make sure to use #OurHearts on all of your social media efforts, so the NHLBI’s The Heart Truth team can feature your activities in their communication efforts and on this interactive map. ABC Members may also want to complete an online form to submit any events you may be hosting.
#OurHearts are healthier together! So get involved! Raise awareness about heart health and urge those around you to prevent heart disease. Be sure to visit the NHLBI/The Heart Truth’s interactive map to find local events and social media activity around the country and Find out how you too can participate!
ABC and Million Hearts® Promote Blood Pressure Control Awareness
This year for February’s Heart Month, the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP) and the Million Hearts national initiative is focusing on how people can control high blood pressure and protect their heart with the theme, “High Blood Pressure Control—We’ve Got This!

The ABC is participating in this social media campaign throughout February by encouraging people with hypertension to learn the basics of high blood pressure, including how it increases risk for heart disease and stroke, why self-measured blood pressure (SMBP) monitoring is important, and the treatment options for it.

ABC members can also utilize the CDC’s Hypertension Communications Kit - graphics, tools, and videos - on the CDC webpage to spread awareness by sharing these resources on social media pages and with colleagues, while also helping audiences to understand why managing blood pressure is important for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Remember, “We’ve got this!”

Visit the CDC’s American Heart Month Partner Toolkit page for more info.
ABC Staff & Members Go Red For Women Heart Health
While February 7 is the official day to honor National Wear Red Day, ABC staff, volunteers and members will attend events throughout February sporting the color red and joining people around the globe in helping to raise awareness about women’s heart health.

Go Red for Women® is the American Heart Association's (AHA) national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women. Activation kits can be found on the AHA’s campaign website and include everything necessary to spread the word and start the conversation

Make the pledge to increase awareness this month! Share #WearRedDay on social media to encourage others to do the same.
ABC, Cardiometabolic Health Congress Host
Black History Month Webinar
ABC will partner with the Cardiometabolic Health Congress (CMHC) on a special Black History Month educational initiative this year. On February 20, ABC Access to Care Initiative Chair and CMHC Senior Planning Committee member Dr. Keith C. Ferdinand will host and moderate a webinar to discuss cardiometabolic health in the African American population, “Challenge of Cardiovascular Risk Reduction in Racial and Ethnic Minorities.” During the webinar, Dr. Ferdinand will review the impact of ethnicity and race in CVD risk and will give participants the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the presentation.

Despite advances, the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains high in certain racial and ethnic minorities, including in African Americans. Significant disparities in CVD morbidity and mortality persist, and across several outcomes and risk factors, African Americans have sub-optimal cardiovascular health. This includes a higher burden of coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and traditional CVD risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, lipid disorders, and obesity. As such, being aware of these increased risks is of crucial importance to optimize risk assessment and individualized therapy.

ABC and CMHC will also spotlight a series of articles/blog posts to highlight cardiometabolic health in African Americans and racial and ethnic minorities as well.

ABC Member Highlights
Check out what ABC members have done and have planned for Black History and Heart Month


Past ABC President Dr. Icilma Fergus’ interview about women, heart disease and the Go Red for Women campaign on WABC New York’s show, Here and Now with Sandra Bookman, which aired on Sunday, January 26.

WATCH NOW



Dr. Fergus also had an interview on CBS New York’s morning show, which aired on Superbowl Sunday, February 2.



WATCH NOW



In photo (L to R): Drs. Serign Marong (Family Medicine), Khadijah Breathett, Patricia Harrison-Monroe (Psychology), Sharon Boyce (Family Medicine) spoke at the “Healthcare Challenges Facing the Black Community" workshop held at the Sharon Seventh Day Adventist Church in Tucson, AZ, last Sunday, February 8, and hosted by church member, Dr. Victoria Murrain (Family Medicine), pictured on the far right.


In photo (L to R): Gwen Taylor, Daphne Ferdinand, PhD, RN, Dr. Myrna Alexander Nickens, and Ella Garner Jackson, RN, Executive Director, Abundant Living Community Org (ALCOINC) at a "Go Red for Women" event sponsored by the Mississippi Congregational Network of Nurses and Advocates (MCNNA). Dr. Alexander-Nickens served as a panelist and Mrs. Taylor and Dr. Ferdinand reported that ABC had a very successful day. The ABC was invited to participate by Ms. Jackson.
Red Dress / Red Tie Sundays


Dr. LaPrincess Brewer
from the Mayo Clinic Department of Cardiovascular Medicine will be a guest speaker at Christ’s Church of the Jesus Hour in Rochester, MN on Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 11 am. Dr. Brewer will speak to the congregation about heart disease - how to recognize symptoms, how to treat it and most importantly, how to prevent it. This Red Dress / Red Tie Sundays event is sponsored by the Mayo Clinic Department of Cardiovascular Medicine/Division of Preventive Cardiology, and will take place at several churches across Minnesota and throughout February.

On Saturday, February 15, Dr. Brewer will also be a guest in the “hot seat” on Barbershop Talk — South Minnesota, an online interview and talk show filmed at The Barbershop,” a business in Rochester.” Episodes are posted on the show’s YouTube channel.

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