Improving Cardiac Health, Preventing Strokes and Reducing Disparities

Focusing on the ABCS of cardiac risk reduction


Healthy People, Healthy Communities: Cardiac Health

Heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases kill over 800,000 Americans each year, accounting for one in every three deaths. It’s the nation’s number one killer among both men and women and the leading cause of health disparities across the population. To address this issue, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) established Million Hearts®, a five-year initiative co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The Great Plains Quality Innovation Network has joined the fight to prevent heart attacks and strokes through the national Million Hearts® initiative. We are partnering with healthcare providers to ensure cardiac care is safe, appropriate and preventive measures are taken to get the best health outcomes possible.

It is also important for you to take the following actions to ensure a healthy heart and reduce your risk of heart related disease:

  • Talk to your healthcare professional about your heart health
  • Understand your family’s health history – identify risks for heart disease and stroke that family members have experienced
  • Get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly
  • Learn ways to manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • If you smoke, get help to stop
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet (high in fruits and vegetables and low in sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol)
  • Exercise regularly (30 minutes per day)
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions about your medications
To get connected, join the Great Plains Learning and Action Network. It is an excellent way to access resources, materials and network with others. Join the Learning and Action Network today.

We hope, through our efforts, individuals will receive better care, have better health outcomes and an overall better care experience. Partner with us; let’s make a difference together.

(A) Aspirin Therapy Talk to your doctor about your health history and ask if taking an aspirin daily is right for you.

(B) Blood Pressure Control High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke. If yours is high, take steps to lower it.

(C) Cholesterol Management Half of adults with high cholesterol do not get treatment. Get tested and take control.

(S) Stop Smoking Smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.

Documents and Resources
American Heart Association: Cardiac Conditions
American Heart Association: Check. Change. Control. Calculator American Heart Association
American Heart Association: Aspirin and Heart Disease American Heart Association
American Heart Association: Check. Change. Control. Tracker American Heart Association
CDC: Cholesterol Fact Sheet CDC
Control Your Blood Pressure
Create My Quit Plan
Every Day Health: Exercise and Physical Activity National Institute on Aging
FamilyDoctor.Org: High Blood Pressure
FDA: Use of Aspirin for Primary Prevention of Heart Attack & Stroke Food and Drug Administration
Go4Life Website National Institute on Aging
Go4Life Video: Balance and Walking National Institute on Aging
Go4Life Video: Building Strength National Institute on Aging
Go4Life Video: Exercise Success Stories National Institute on Aging
Go4Life Video: Stretching National Institute on Aging
Know the Facts about Blood Pressure CDC
Know the Facts about Heart Disease
Lower Your Cholesterol
Medline Plus: Blood Pressure Health Video
MedLine Plus: Quit Smoking
American Heart Association: My Life Check – Life’s Simple 7 (Heart Score) American Heart Association
National Heart and Blood Institute – the Heart Truth National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Resource for Aspirin Use
Stop Smoking American Lung Association
Smoking Cessation Health Center WebMD
American Heart Association: Taking Care of Yourself American Heart Association
Talk With Your Healthcare Provider About High Blood Pressure
Talk with Your Healthcare Provider About High Cholesterol

Great Plains Quality Care Coalition

Our Vision: Through collaboration and partnership, we aspire to make healthcare in the Dakotas the best in the nation. We have partnered with committed nursing homes, community leaders and healthcare organizations to improve the care in our communities. Better together.