MNCM News

"The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through." -- Sydney J. Harris

MN Community Measurement Joins Statewide ‘Ask About Aspirin’ Initiative

AspirinMay 26, 2016 – Sixteen thousand Minnesotans suffer their first heart attack or stroke every year. That’s just one reason why MN Community Measurement (MNCM) has joined the Minnesota Heart Health Program’s (MHHP) ‘Ask About Aspirin’ Initiative with leading healthcare providers from across the state. Their collective goal is to prevent at least 10,000 heart attacks and strokes in Minnesota over the next four years – including those that would likely occur in this region.

Initiative partners will host a day-long community conversation Thursday, June 2 in the Mall of America Rotunda in Bloomington, MN with a press conference from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. featuring public officials and health experts, including James Chase, President of MNCM. On a 200-square foot interactive display during the event will be the thousands of heart-shaped #IWILL (ask about aspirin) pledges collected by MNCM and other participating partners throughout May.

“MNCM made aspirin use in diabetes and vascular care two of our measurement priorities more than a decade ago, said James Chase, President of MNCM. And in Minnesota today, the rate of prescribed aspirin for these patients is over 95 percent, well above what’s happening in other parts of the country. Research has shown there are many other people in Minnesota who would benefit from aspirin use to prevent a first heart attack or stroke. We hope this new initiative will spread the word to ‘Ask About Aspirin’ “, said Chase.

“Consulting with one’s health care professional is the best way to determine whether taking aspirin is appropriate,” said Alan Hirsch, M.D., Professor and Director of the Vascular Medicine Program at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and Co-Director of MHHP. This Initiative specifically encourages men and women ages 50-79 to ask their health care professional whether they should take daily aspirin to help prevent a first heart attack or stroke.

In reducing the number of first heart attacks and strokes, the Initiative aims to sustain individual health, promote community health, and lower the economic burden of preventable cardiovascular diseases, a leading cause of death in Minnesota.

“An important cornerstone of this initiative is the close relationships we’re developing with health care professionals across the state. We rely on the expertise and relationships they have with their patients, and we are committed to providing the informational tools needed at a community level,” said Russell Luepker, M.D., M.S., Mayo Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, and Co-Director of MHHP.

The ‘Ask About Aspirin’ Initiative was launched by the Minnesota Heart Health Program (MHHP) and designed by the University of Minnesota Lillehei Heart Institute, in partnership with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, the Minnesota Department of Health, and a Community Advisory Board, including the American Heart Association, Minnesota Medical Association, American College of Cardiology (Minnesota Chapter), Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians, Minnesota Community Measurement, and Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. MHHP is also an official partner of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Million Hearts® project.

The initiative is funded by the University of Minnesota Lillehei Heart Institute and a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Take a self-assessment to find out if you are a candidate for daily aspirin at AskAboutAspirin.org.

View more details about the press conference.

About MNCM

MN Community Measurement (MNCM) is a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the improvement of health by publicly reporting health care information. A trusted source of health care data and public reporting on quality, cost and patient experience for more than a decade, MNCM works with varied stakeholders to spur quality improvement, reduce costs and maximize value in health care.