Representatives from Lakewood Health System helped kick off the ‘Ask About Aspirin’ initiative during the Rally for Minnesota Heart Health at the Mall of America on June 2. The initiative hopes to prevent at least 10,000 heart attacks and strokes in Minnesota over the next four years.
During the rally, participants heard from public officials and health experts on the potential benefits of daily aspirin to individuals and communities. Participants then added their #IWill ask about aspirin pledges to a 200-square foot interactive display, including pledges collected by Lakewood staff throughout May.
“We are excited to partner with the Minnesota Heart Health Program on the ‘Ask About Aspirin’ initiative,” said Lakewood Health System Clinic Quality Improvement Manager Kimberly Bryniarski. “We want to keep our patients as healthy as possible, so being proactive about what they can do to help prevent life-threatening illness is a great way to start.”
Sixteen thousand Minnesotans suffer their first heart attack or stroke every year, which is why Lakewood has joined with dozens of health care providers and partners from across the state on this initiative. Men and women ages 50-69, in particular, are encouraged to ask their health care professional whether they should take daily aspirin to help prevent a first heart attack or stroke.
“The impacts of simple actions are often underestimated, even by those who are well informed”, said Lakewood Health System’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. John Halfen. “MHHP has identified one such ‘simple action’, and Lakewood is anxious to use the help and direction given by MHHP to further assist in saving patient lives.”
In reducing the number of first heart attacks and strokes, the initiative aims to sustain individual health, promote community health, and lower the economic burden of preventable cardiovascular diseases, a leading cause of death in Minnesota.
The ‘Ask About Aspirin’ initiative was launched by the Minnesota Heart Health Program (MHHP) and designed by the University of Minnesota Lillehei Heart Institute, in partnership with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, the Minnesota Department of Health, and a Community Advisory Board, including the American Heart Association, Minnesota Medical Association, American College of Cardiology (Minnesota Chapter), Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians, Minnesota Community Measurement, and Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. MHHP is also an official partner of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Million Hearts® project.
The initiative is funded by the University of Minnesota Lillehei Heart Institute and a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
For more information or to take a self-assessment to find out if you are a candidate for daily aspirin, visit www.AskAboutAspirin.org.