As national health data and government research indicate a widening gap in health disparities between the underserved population and the general population, the American College of Cardiology is hosting a Call To Action Community Leadership Forum in the Bronx to discuss health equities.
The Call To Action Community Leadership Forum, featuring top local health professionals, clergy and civic leaders, will be held on June 18 at the New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
“Through the Association of Black Cardiologists’ Spirit of the Heart program model, the American College of Cardiology is committed to working with leaders in local communities to examine health equities and the value of taking preventive measures to ensure a healthy heart, such as proper diet and exercise,” said ACC President Patrick O’Gara, M.D., FACC.
The Call To Action Community Leadership Forum will take place as part of the Spirit of the Heart Day national wellness education initiative tour promoting cardiovascular disease prevention throughout the U.S. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) are sponsoring the event.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women with an estimated 600,000 Americans dying each year from the disease, or one in every four deaths.
The Rev. Michel Faulkner, President and CEO, Institute For Leadership, said, “One of the things I think we desperately need is for shepherds to take responsibility for their health and lead by example so that the sheep can follow. This Leadership Forum is an important step in gathering the data we need to help improve the health of our communities.”
In addition, the Spirit of the Heart Day tour will also sponsor a Free Health Screening titled “It’s All About The Bronx Community Health” at Barretto Point Park on Saturday, June 21, from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Former New York Yankees and Mets Star Dwight “Doc” Gooden will serve as special guest at screening encouraging the public to participate.
“Through Spirit of the Heart Day we are able to reach at-risk populations who don’t have the resources to receive regular check-ups,” said Ileana L. Piña, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and Population Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “Through local churches, community organizations and health professionals working together we are able to improve health outcomes in communities across the country.”
Heart Disease key risk factors include: high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and smoking. An estimated 49 percent of all Americans have at least one of these three risk factors.
“Each year there are more than a half a million Americans that die from heart disease,” said ABC President Icilma Fergus, M.D. “And, when we look at data comparing certain communities and ethnic groups, the numbers are even more startling.”