University of Oklahoma launches $15M heart health initiative



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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The University of Oklahoma has received a $15 million federal grant to fund an initiative to promote heart health in Oklahoma, particularly in rural areas.

The American Heart Association says heart disease is the leading cause of death in the state.

The Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/1JxDDqe ) reports that the university received funding six months ago to participate in an initiative called EvidenceNOW — Advancing Heart Health in Primary Care, through the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Dr. Dan Duffy with Heart Health says up-to-date information will be distributed to medical practices throughout the state to change heart health care.

Duffy hopes that through continuing education and practice improvement in medical offices, practices will be able to lower blood pressure, increase aspirin use for those at risk for heart disease, reduction in tobacco use and lower cholesterol.

"All of those four things are known to reduce heart disease, and we need that in Oklahoma in the worst kind of way," Duffy said.

The initiative aims to help between 250 and 300 medical practices of 10 or fewer clinicians, and participating clinics will have access to peer clinician coaches and assistants who will make 32 visits over the course of the year.

Clinics will be provided with assistance to connect to electronic medical records.

Results of the initiative will be studied to determine if improvements were made.

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Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

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The Associated Press

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