Novant set to beat hypertension in the U.S. starting with 500,000 screenings this year.
The Not-for-profit Novant Health system has ‘declared war’ on high blood pressure and other preventable killers like prediabetes and obesity as part of a system-wide community wellness initiative designed to create “an epidemic of health and wellness.”
The organization said in a press statement that it has kicked off the initiative due to alarming U.S. statistics and serious health risks for these health conditions ― one in three Americans has hypertension, more than one-third of adults are obese, and one out of every three aged 20 and older has prediabetes. These conditions combined account for approximately $266 billion in annual U.S. medical costs and contribute to hundreds of thousands of deaths per year.
Moreover, while proper detection and management can reverse these consequences, an overwhelming majority of adults with high blood pressure and prediabetes are unaware of their conditions.
Carl S. Armato, president and CEO of Novant Health, said that “every day we see the impact these significant, but often preventable killers have on families. Prediabetes, obesity and high blood pressure are leading factors in two of the biggest killers in America: heart disease and stroke. By focusing on intensive screening and appropriate education efforts in our communities, we can encourage a new kind of epidemic: health and wellness.”
According to Ophelia Garmon-Brown, MD and Novant Senior VP, “a large percentage of consumers seek education and prevention options related to cancer, high cholesterol, or even back and joint pain. Yet, how many ask their doctor to rule out prediabetes, regularly check their blood pressure or take real action when their weight creeps up to obese levels? The answer is very few. Our message is simple but powerful: Small changes can really make a big difference.”
Novant Health, which offers an integrated health system for patients in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia, plans to screen 500,000 people for risk factors. The organization expects to provide over 25,000 A1C blood tests and other screenings for those determined to be at risk for developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke.