The prevalence of cardiovascular disease has been reducing for several decades. However, recent studies suggest that mortality rates are high within some subgroups. The risk of developing a cardiovascular disease also remains high due to the presence of contributing factors (Wall et al., 2018). To address this problem, the Million Hearts federal initiative is currently underway (Wright et al., 2018). The campaign aims at preventing one million heart strokes and attacks within five years, from 2017 to 2022 (Wall et al., 2018). All individuals that fall under the risk group must understand how to prevent a cardiovascular event using available strategies.
In this context, aspiring healthcare advocates can participate on a local level. Building awareness is the primary method of advocating for an initiative. People need to have comprehensive information about why the problem is significant to consider and what can be done to lower the risk of having a heart attack. The authors of the initiative want to achieve at least 70% participation in cardiac rehabilitation (Ades et al., 2017). Such a high level of involvement cannot be reached without delivering the required information to people.
Therefore, an advocate should build a team and take part in information campaigns in social media, schools, universities, clinics, nursing homes, and other places where the target population may be present. One tactic is to leverage stakeholders – community members – with a storytelling approach which may persuade certain groups of people while the rest may demand a professional opinion. Therefore, finding both professionals and active community members and asking them to speak on your behalf is a favorite tactic. An individual with the necessary knowledge is more likely to make an informed decision regarding their health. The absence of information may lead to adverse consequences in terms of health outcomes.
Ades, P. A., Keteyian, S. J., Wright, J. S., Hamm, L. F., Lui, K., Newlin, K., Shepard, D., & Thomas, R. J. (2017). Increasing cardiac rehabilitation participation from 20% to 70%: A road map from the Million Hearts Cardiac Rehabilitation Collaborative. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 92(2), 234-242.
Wall, H. K., Ritchey, M. D., Gillespie, C., Omura, J. D., Jamal, A., & George, M. G. (2018). Vital signs: Prevalence of key cardiovascular disease risk factors for Million Hearts 2022—United States, 2011–2016. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 67(35), 983-991.
Wright, J. S., Wall, H. K., & Ritchey, M. D. (2018). Million Hearts 2022: Small steps are needed for cardiovascular disease prevention. Jama, 320(18), 1857-1858.