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WASHINGTON (Jul 29, 2020) -
The American College of Cardiology in collaboration with the Arkansas STEMI Advisory Council (STAC) are working together to save lives by offering Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC) educational materials in Marshallese. The materials, which were previously only available in English and Spanish, provide this underserved, high-risk population with easily accessible information to help them recognize the early signs and symptoms of heart attacks, and know how and when to seek care.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women and men worldwide; however, in many cases, heart disease, including heart attacks, are preventable.
“When a heart attack occurs, every second matters. The EHAC materials are important tools in educating Arkansans on the early signs of a heart attack and to dial 911 if they experience symptoms,” said Aravind Rao, MD, MPH, chair of the STAC. “We appreciate the ACC developing these tools to reach diverse populations in the state. By partnering with them, we will be able to reach our goal to improve heart attack care for the citizens of Arkansas.”
EHAC is a public awareness campaign to educate the public about the signs of an impending heart attack, including that heart attack symptoms can occur days or weeks before the actual event. By recognizing and treating heart attack symptoms early, patients can avoid potential damage caused by a full-blown heart attack. Early symptoms can include chest pressure, shortness of breath, weakness and others.
“Many people do not realize that, like cancer and diabetes, heart attacks have early signs and symptoms,” said Jenn Cash, ACC EHAC education outreach coordinator. “The ACC and the Arkansas STEMI Advisory Council share the same goal—to save more lives and reduce the mortality rate of cardiovascular disease. Creating and sharing these free materials with the Marshallese population in Arkansas allows us to expand our outreach at a critical time.”
Heart attack prevention is especially timely during the COVID-19 pandemic, as its been widely reported that heart attack patients are avoiding the ER due to fear of being exposed to the virus. The ACC, through its CardioSmart initiative, began an educational campaign in April to encourage patients to call 911 if they thought they were having a heart attack and to reassure them that proper protocols are in place to keep them safe in the emergency room.
Moving forward, the ACC and the STAC will continue their collaboration in making educational materials available and monitor cardiovascular trends within the NCDR Chest Pain MI Registry.
Marshallese EHAC materials will be available via free download and hospitals can request free printed materials. For more information visit healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/stemi-advisory-council-stac or deputyheartattack.acc.org.
The American College of Cardiology envisions a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes. As the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team, the mission of the College and its 54,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC bestows credentials upon cardiovascular professionals who meet stringent qualifications and leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College also provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research through its world-renowned JACC Journals, operates national registries to measure and improve care, and offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions. For more, visit acc.org.
The Arkansas STEMI Advisory Council was formed to reduce the burden of STEMI (ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction) on Arkansans. This voluntary committee consists of healthcare providers and public health professionals working together to coordinate statewide to fight this condition. For more, visit healthy.arkansas.gov.