Barbara Fletcher, RN, MN, FAHA, FPCNA, FAAN
University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL
In case you have not heard, “Health Care” is changing as I write this letter. Nurses are and will be instrumental in making sure these changes are implemented in ways to improve patient and public health outcomes. Certainly prevention is center stage with any health care improvements. As your president for 2014 – 2015, my goal is to continue to make PCNA the go to nurse organization in Cardiovascular Prevention. Leadership in PCNA will continue to focus on patient care, professional education, primary and secondary prevention, and advocacy for policy change.
As strength is in numbers, we need to grow our membership, both nationally and internationally. The easiest way to do this is to increase PCNA chapters. Models for well recognized chapters are already in existence within PCNA and guidance from the national office is always available for those of you interested in starting a chapter in your area.
Cardiovascular Disease Prevention is a global problem. With this in mind, we will continue our impact on the international stage. In October, 2014, PCNA will host the first ever international conference for nurse leaders around the globe focusing on CVD Prevention. This will be an invited conference for those attending. The goal of this first international prevention leadership conference is to formulate a strategic plan on which to build momentum and further CVD Prevention around the world with nurse leaders at the forefront.
A common problem in this country and around the world is sodium per capita intake. Americans’ sodium intakes far exceed recommendations, and reducing population sodium intake is vital to improving our nation’s health. Reducing average population sodium intake to 2300 mg per day, the recommended maximum for adults, may reduce cases of hypertension by 11 million, save $18 billion health care dollars, and gain 312,000 QALYs that are worth $32 billion annually. American Heart Association recommends even greater reductions in population sodium consumption yielding even greater savings to society. (Am J Health Promot. 2009 Sep-Oct;24(1):49-57)
The food industry and those who regulate it could improve the nation’s health through reductions in the amount of salt in processed foods. Efforts are already underway through conferences such as those the America Heart Association have sponsored with food industry. PCNA plans to remain involved in these efforts.
I am most honored and pleased to serve as your president! I accept this responsibility with excitement! I know the value of each member of PCNA and your capabilities. I am excited to work with you and build on the progress our wonderful organization has made thus far. With our combined efforts, I know we will be successful in reducing cardiovascular disease at home and abroad.