Close the Gap - Providing Advanced Cardiovascular Care to All Americans
Heart disease causes more deaths in Americans of both genders and all racial and ethnic groups than any other disease. Yet despite similar prevalence across racial/ethnic groups, women and people of color are treated at a lesser rate for cardiovascular disease than Caucasian men.
In June 2006, a team of physicians and health care professionals from across the country came together to look at ways to address disparities in cardiovascular care for the underserved patient populations of women, black Americans, and Hispanic/Latino Americans. From these discussions, Close the Gap, an educational initiative sponsored by Boston Scientific, was launched. Close the Gap focuses on three areas: community education, patient values and quality measures.
To promote awareness about cardiovascular risk factors, Close the Gap has partnered with athletic leaders from around the country, including Tony Dungy of NBC Sunday Night Football.
The goal of our community education focus is to increase awareness of cardiovascular risk factors through a variety of community programs. By increasing awareness of risk factors, we hope to identify and help more high-risk patients. Our efforts to achieve this goal include partnering with community institutions including faith-based organizations, collegiate and professional athletic organizations, and patient advocacy groups. Close the Gap will conduct community outreach at several events throughout the year. More information about these events can be found on our Calendar of Events.
Partnering with health care institutions and medical professional organizations offers the opportunity to help health care providers at all levels learn about the cultural beliefs that can act as barriers to acceptance among underserved populations. When a barrier to acceptance is recognized and appropriately addressed, more patients will then understand and receive life extending and improving cardiovascular therapies. Educational events for local health care professionals, led by Close the Gap Steering Committee physicians and healthcare professionals, are being organized at several locations across the country. Look for upcoming events on our Calendar of Events.
Close the Gap is working to help raise awareness of heart failure quality measures and is advocating the inclusion of ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) therapy as recommended treatment for patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest. Spotlighting the existing and growing cache of evidence based medicine can help medical guidelines be reviewed and enhanced to further ensure that proven, effective cardiac therapies are offered to all patients who would benefit from them.
For more information on heart health, disparities in cardiovascular care and Boston Scientific's Close the Gap educational initiative, visit Close the Gap.
The Close the Gap effort is led by a Steering Committee of physicians and healthcare professionals identifying opportunities and defining strategies to improve cardiovascular health outcomes for underserved patients. The committee is actively engaged in the progress and momentum being made by the program.
The Stentplus Patient Success Program was developed by Boston Scientific to support and provide important health information for patients who have received a drug-eluting coronary stent.
Race Against Pain
The Race Against Pain online forum, which is sponsored by Boston Scientific, offers patients the opportunity to connect with a community of individuals who understand the challenges of dealing with chronic pain.
LifeBeat Online and LifeBeat Newsletter
Boston Scientific’s LifeBeat Newsletter is designed to offer cardiovascular news, health tips and more to patients who have received an implanted cardiac device (ICD).
Patient Advocacy for Cardiac Health
Boston Scientific’s Patient Advocacy program provides financial and consulting support to several patient advocacy groups to help fulfill their roles as trusted cardiovascular health resources for patients.