Heart Health Screening: A Community Approach in Baltimore, MD
The Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) led by Dr. Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, PhD, MHS, RN and Dr. Diana Baptiste DNP, RN, CNE, FAAN partnered with local Baltimore organizations to develop a series of outreach screening tools. The screening tools are designed to assist PCNA chapters across the country in identifying individuals in the community and clinical settings who are at risk or are previously undiagnosed, for cardiovascular disease (CVD) or stroke. This project is focused on improving the effectiveness of these screening activities by focusing on high-risk communities. CVD is the leading cause of death in Baltimore City, with African Americans disproportionately affected but often unaware of their CVD risk. Premature death from CVD is associated with a lower life expectancy among African Americans who often have multiple chronic conditions.
PCNA and the partner Baltimore organizations completed community health screenings, focused particularly on low-income African American adults 35-64 years in Baltimore City. Participants determined to be at high risk for CVD and stroke were provided additional education and resources. Data analysis is being performed by subject matter experts from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing who are affiliated with the PCNA Chapter in Maryland. Results will be disseminated nationwide to PCNA members and partner organizations to improve the efficacy of screening efforts across the country, with the goal of improving the prevention and detection of CVD, including hypertension and atrial fibrillation, and promoting healthy aging.