Nebraska: Community-Based Program Prevents Heart Disease, Stroke
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today released the second in a series of health care success story reports that document innovative programs and initiatives that can serve as models for a reformed American health care system. Today’s report highlights the Nebraska WISEWOMAN program. WISEWOMAN is a community intervention program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that helps prevent heart disease and stroke by providing screenings and counseling for low-income women.
“WISEWOMAN is a great example of a community-based prevention program that can help keep Americans healthy and out of the hospital,” said Secretary Sebelius. “In Nebraska alone, WISEWOMAN helped 19,000 women live healthier lives and significantly reduced their risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.”
The WISEWOMAN program started in 2000; there are now 21 similar programs across the country. In Nebraska, WISEWOMAN partners with health care providers across the state to provide low-income, under- or uninsured women with the information they need to help prevent heart attack and stroke. The program provides risk factor screenings to low-income women at clinics throughout Nebraska and refers women at-risk of heart attack or stroke to experts for additional counseling and care.
The WISEWOMAN program as a whole has reduced the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic diseases in over 84,000 women. Nebraska WISEWOMAN has screened over 19,000 underserved women since its inception in 2000 and has significantly reduced the incidence of chronic disease and death. There has been a 5.4 percent reduction in 10-year estimated chronic heart disease risk and a 7.5 percent reduction in five-year estimated cardiovascular disease risk. Smoking incidence has also declined 7.1 percent since the start of the program.
“WISEWOMAN shows us just how important and successful prevention programs can be,” added Sebelius. “We need to build on the success of this program and ensure health reform makes prevention and wellness a fundamental part of our health care system.”