TriStar Health - May 16, 2017

TriStar Health joined Cities and Communities Heart Initiative Nashville (CCHI Nashville) in launching Caring for the Caregiver this month, a program to improve cardiovascular health and reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors among nurses in Nashville’s hospitals and health systems.

Caring for the Caregiver helps local nurses focus on their own health and addresses the high rate of heart disease and risk factors among female nurses.

“Our nearly 4,000 TriStar Health nurses are dedicated to caring for patients in our Nashville communities, and we are excited to offer a program that cares for them,” said Velinda J. Block, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, chief nursing executive, TriStar Health. “We’re hosting Heart Checks and providing resources throughout the coming months that will help our nurses become aware of their own risk of heart disease, what actions they can take to reduce that risk and how to empower their female patients to keep their hearts healthy.”

Heart Checks

Screenings and prevention efforts for nurses took place the first week in May at TriStar Ashland City, TriStar Centennial, TriStar Southern Hills and TriStar Skyline medical centers. Additional Heart Checks are scheduled for TriStar facilities in late summer.

Staff from the facilities volunteered their time to discuss risk and prevention with nurses while they were documenting their blood pressure and height and weight measurements, two important numbers that indicate personal risk of cardiovascular disease. Nurses with high risk factors were encouraged to follow-up with their primary care provider.

Chris Staigl, chief nursing officer, TriStar Southern Hills, said that their screening was a success. In addition to screening and providing resources to over 40 nurses, a few nurses were encouraged to follow-up with their primary care provider based on personal risk factors. “Giving back may ultimately save a life,” she said.

Staff rounded on nurses in their units to share resources and have their blood pressure taken on the Neuron machine at TriStar Ashland City.

TriStar Centennial chief nursing officer, Cyndi Stroburg, conducts a Heart Check on one of her nursing directors.

Janet Fitzpatrick, chest pain coordinator, TriStar Southern Hills, and staff volunteers created a welcoming heart-themed screening area for nurses, complete with a heart healthy bean bag toss board to encourage fun activity.

Women, Nurses in Nashville Have Increased Risk

According to a Women’s Heart Alliance press release, cardiovascular disease is women’s number one killer In Davidson County. For every woman who dies of breast cancer, more than eight die from heart disease and stroke.

Research also indicates that caregivers are at increased risk for heart disease because of lifestyle factors including long work hours, shift work and stress.

CCHI Nashville is an opportunity to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease risk factors, prevention and the importance of self-care for our caregivers as well as our patients.

About Caring for the Caregiver

Caring for the Caregiver is a program of CCHI Nashville, a collaborative initiative envisioned and led by the Women’s Heart Alliance (WHA) to stop women in Nashville from needlessly suffering and dying from cardiovascular disease. It will take a wide-ranging approach to improving women’s heart health through five program components, rolling out in 2017 and beyond.