Heart Healthy Communities
“Of all forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Annual Meeting of Medical Community for Human Rights 1966
Heart Healthy Communities was created to investigate and help reduce the health disparities driven by a complex network of economic, social, cultural, and medical influences. Chronic disease has a devastating impact in rural areas. Heart Healthy Communities is collaborating with community members, healthcare providers, and scientists to improve the health of eastern North Carolina residents.
Heart Healthy Communities utilizes a community-based model that uses a geospatial approach to target underserved neighborhoods with the highest rates of out of hospital premature death for a patient-centered and health worker-based intervention. Heart Healthy Communities will select communities using death registration data to identify specific US Census blocks with disproportionally high rates of Out-of-Hospital Premature Natural Death (OHPND), which is defined as an individual aged 18-74 who died outside a healthcare facility of natural causes (excluding cancer). Heart Healthy Communities has a team of community health workers that travel within the targeted communities. The community health workers are trained, trusted community members that use a door-to-door approach in the neighborhoods that have been selected within the eastern North Carolina region and they will engage with the adult members of the household.
The mission of Heart Healthy Communities is to make community the foundation of health and well being in the areas the program serves.
The Heart Healthy Communities wants to engage, educate, and empower members of the community to assist in bettering their health and wellness.
Heart Healthy Communities is focusing on a holistic, patient-centered, and community-focused approach on reducing the health-related disparities in rural, underserved communities and improving the quality and impact of the community-based programs available.