Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day, which takes place every year on February 22, aims to increase recognition of the specific risks and symptoms of heart valve disease, improve detection and treatment, and ultimately save lives. Learn how you can get involved by reading this blog post by Laura Ross, a cardiology physician assistant at Park Nicollet Heart & Vascular Center in Minnesota.
February is American Heart Month, and there are so many reasons to celebrate! One cause that has become a passion of mine is Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day on February 22. This cause hit close to home after a relative with frequent hospital admissions was found to have significant valve disease at 102 years old. His age was thought to be a large contributor to his fatigue and shortness of breath. Imagine our surprise when we found out he had severe aortic stenosis. He received a transcatheter aortic heart valve replacement (TAVR) and was able to enjoy life playing music and spending time with family at home until he passed away this year at the age of 107. His quality of life greatly improved, hospitalizations decreased, and many more memories were made due to the advancement in treatment and awareness of valve disease.
My work as a physician assistant in general cardiology near Minneapolis since 2004 has offered me the privilege to take care of many patients, including those with heart valve disease. I have been thankful for the opportunities within my own institution, as well as within the American College of Cardiology to advocate and bring awareness to this condition. We have a dedicated team working on bringing more attention to this cause, and it has been an honor to work with patients and providers on this campaign. I hope you can join us in celebrating Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day by participating in one of the many activities in February, or think or your own way to spark interest in your community!
Ideas for Advocacy and Awareness in Your Community on February 22
- Social media posts highlighting either local support and resources, or your institution’s structural heart team
- Heart shaped chocolates to team members and patients
- Focused highlight video on the screens at the clinics/hospital on l Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day
- A lunch and learn for providers and/or patients
- Rock From the Heart events on February 7-8 with Night Ranger and The Band That Fell to Earth, including musicians who have had valve surgeries. Get your tickets at: https://rockfromtheheart.org/event-info
American College of Cardiology (ACC) efforts in 2019-2020
Cardiosmart: Online patient education
- TAVR webinar 2/2019: Patient and Provider Perspective
- Mirvat Alasnag is leading a blog and video campaign to highlight international valve disease treatment options the month of February that will be showcased on the ACC website.
- ACC Tweetorial on Saturday, February 22 from 10:00-10:30 ET.
- Social media contest to raise awareness with Amazon gift card prizes during the Tweetorial. We will also utilize #valvediseaseday to promote awareness.
- There is a trend of increased patients receiving TAVR, but not in minority populations. This trend was reviewed, along with ideas on how to address these discrepancies, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Learn more at www.valvediseaseday.org