About Close the Gap
Helping Everyone Have Access to the Highest Quality Cardiovascular Care Regardless of Race, Ethnicity or Gender.
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.
The results of the following study by the Kaiser Family Foundation triggered the inception of Close the Gap: Racial/Ethnic Differences in Cardiac Care: The Weight of the Evidence
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, a Boston Scientific educational initiative, was launched. Close the Gap focuses on three areas: community education, healthcare professional education, and adherence to guidelines.
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.
To promote awareness about cardiovascular risk factors, Close the Gap has partnered with leaders from around the country, including Tony Dungy of NBC Sunday Night Football.
Healthcare Professional Education
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.
Adherence to Guidelines
Close the Gap is working to help raise awareness of heart failure adherence to guidelines and is advocating 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.
Close the Gap is in consultation with 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.