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New Mexico Launches the Million Hearts® Initiative
State: New Mexico

Key Words
  • Awareness/Media
  • Clinical Guidelines
  • Community Health Workers/Lay Health Advisors
  • EHR/Clinical Info Systems
  • Hypertension
  • Pharmacists
  • Quality Improvement
  • Smoking
  • Task Force/Coalition/Advisory Group/Network
  • Training/Education
Submitted Date: 2015

Chronic Disease Topic Area
  • Arthritis
  • Heart Disease
  • Strokes
Problem Statement
  • New Mexico faces many challenges to its effort to reduce death and disability from cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death:
  • It is a very large state with many medically underserved areas that are mostly rural or frontier, making resident’s access to services and resources difficult.
  • Many New Mexicans live in poverty, are unemployed and have less education than other parts of the country. A large portion of New Mexicans are also un-insured – all factors that can lead to poor health.
  • To jump start collective action to improve the health of New Mexico residents, the New Mexico Department of Health applied for a grant to move forward on a Million Hearts® initiative.
Project Objective(s)

The workshop goal was to bring together as a team doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, community health workers, and others from partner organizations to plan for moving forward with the work of preventing heart attacks and strokes in New Mexico. The New Mexico Million Hearts work group was formed as a direct result of the work shop!

Program Action
  • The Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program of the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) used a grant from the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors NACDD to conduct a Million Hearts® stakeholder workshop in June 2014. The workshop participants included representatives from the American Heart Association, the New Mexico Quality Improvement Network and Primary Care Association, University of New Mexico, US Veterans Administration, Indian Health Service and others.
  • Blood pressure control and smoking cessation were a special focus for the workshop. Participants learned about improving clinical care using electronic health records and the role each health care team member plays in preventing heart attacks and strokes.  Representatives from several New Mexico health systems shared information about improving health services coordination to ensure the health of all residents served. The role of community health workers (CHW) as a part of the healthcare team was also presented. CHW have worked in New Mexico communities for a long time, but many participants did not realize the significant role CHW have in improving population health.
Data/Other Information Collected

The Million Hearts® (MH) work group is tracking participation, including locations and organizations involved in the work group and number of events where information about the Initiative is presented. Clinical prevention activities include health systems and associated providers, with a special focus on the work of pharmacists, EMS personnel and CHW. The work group is supporting various organizations to conduct activities which promote blood pressure self-monitoring with additional support. These activities will be conducted by faith based organizations, tribes and pueblos, African American and Hispanic community networks and clinic settings.

Through its work under CDC 1305 funding NMDOH is collecting data to examine the required performance measures. This includes BRFSS, which asks about hypertension, tobacco use and other behavioral health information. NMDOH is also working with health system partners, including FQHCs, the VA and Indian Health Service, to collect data from EHRs, an enormous task!

Impact / Accomplishment
  • The workshop was well attended by 65 participants representing a variety of stakeholders.
  • The most important result of the workshop is the synergy created from strong partnerships. Partners that hadn’t worked with NMDOH prior to the launch of the Initiative, such as the Veterans Administration, are now working with us. Other partners who have a strong history of working with NMDOH now have a set of common goal to work towards.
  • The state’s Quality Improvement Network and Primary Care Association as well as American Heart Association took an active role in conducting the workshop and continue to lead the work group.
  • American Heart Association featured Million Hearts presentations at the Go Red for Native American Women and Vestido Rojo – a Go Red for Hispanic Women event. These events reached priority populations in New Mexico.
  • The Indian Health Service, a long standing partner, invited the NMDOH to conduct a Million Hearts webinar series through the IHS Center for Excellence which reached over 50 participants  in New Mexico and around the country.
  • Another MH partner, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, was recently chosen a Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champion.
Challenges/Lessons Learned

Challenges to implementation include:

-- the time it takes to begin and build meaningful partnerships

-- the lack of resources to address major public health issues, especially in our large and underserved state; the work group is looking for ways to leverage resources - human capital, time and funding.

Next Steps

The work group will continue to meet on a monthly basis to advance initiative goals. It will focus on improving clinical care by offering provider education and technical assistance. It will also focus on activating communities by raising awareness about heart attack and stroke prevention and the management of CVD.

The NMDOH Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention program will share leadership of MH Initiative and work group activities in New Mexico, as convening stakeholders is a state health department function.  The SHD is also a primary source for data surveillance and analysis and will use these data to support and advance Million Hearts activities.

Bambi Bevill
New Mexico Department of Health