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Residents in three Indianapolis neighborhoods soon will be able to get heart screenings, cardiovascular health information and care referrals at barbershops, salons, churches and other local gathering spots as a result of a $3.1 million collaborative agreement between the IU Health Foundation and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
The funding from the global firm will support the Indianapolis Health Equity, Access, outReach and Treatment (iHEART) collaborative, which IU Health has formed in conjunction with the Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institutes, IUPUI Polis Center and the Fairbanks School of Public Health to address health inequities that drive higher rates of cardiovascular disease in underserved areas.
The Novartis funds will allow the three-year project to provide screenings, referrals and treatment for individuals living in three medically underserved Indianapolis neighborhoods: the Meadows/Martindale-Brightwood, the United Northwest Area/Riverside and the Near Southeast Side.
Medical, research and community engagement teams will go to neighborhood gathering sites to provide services such as blood pressure screenings, body mass index measurements and point-of-care testing for glucose, lipids and hemoglobin A1C. The teams also will provide heart-health education and resources as well as connections to follow-up clinical care and social services.
In addition, public forums in the neighborhoods will raise awareness about key health concerns such as high blood pressure and provide information about cardiovascular health, self-management tools and other resources.
“This is a great example of diverse organizations coming together to address root causes of poor health in the community,” said IU Health Foundation Grants Director Cassandra Tice. “Our partners in the IU Health Office of Health Equity Research & Engagement informed us of Novartis’ interest in addressing health inequities, we collaborated to forge a plan, and IU Health brought in partners to build a coalition that will have real impact for cardiovascular health.”
iHEART’s long-term goal is to create a model that can be replicated to address chronic diseases throughout the state and nation.