Heart attacks and strokes take the heaviest toll on African Americans. Nearly 44% of African American men and 48% of African American women have some form of cardiovascular disease. The Southeastern San Diego Cardiac Disparities Project challenges that reality. The project works with two influential groups in that community to turn the tide against this devastating disease, which is up to 70 percent preventable.
Faith-based Heart Health Initiative
Churches and mosques play a critical role in providing information that will improve the lives of their congregants and communities. They are the spiritual heart and soul of our community. The leaders of these organizations—healers in their own right—receive information and resources about how they can establish healthy fellowship environments so that people can make heart-healthy choices where they worship. Then they work with their congregations to make at least one permanent, measurable change in their environment to encourage healthy living and manage risk factors of heart disease.
Heart Care Champions Program
Health practitioners are at the front lines of fighting heart disease. This project engages physicians and other health practitioners that are willing to go the extra mile to improve their patients’ lives and help control healthcare costs. It is an opportunity for health practitioners to connect with the community and the community to connect with health practitioners. These “Heart Care Champions” will identify, test and promote at least one permanent, measurable change in their clinical environment partnering with their patients, encouraging healthy living and management risk factors.
The project’s goal is to reach 6,400 African American adults. That’s the number of residents in Southeastern San Diego who will have an opportunity to experience a change in their daily lives that will improve their heart health. This three-year project is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant. It’s being managed by the organization Be There San Diego, whose goal is to eliminate heart attacks and strokes in San Diego County.