Heart attack prevention and heart health is the object of two large, two–year grants from Kaiser Permanente to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Foundation and the Community Health Partnership. The $400,000 to each organization will expand their use of Kaiser Permanente’s life–saving PHASE (Prevent Heart Attacks and Strokes Every Day) program.
PHASE combines three medications, along with lifestyle changes, to provide a cost–effective treatment for people with existing heart disease and those at greatest risk for developing it, including diabetics 55 and older. By providing a generic, effective, well–tolerated fixed–dose treatment, the heart healthy regimen has helped Kaiser Permanente Northern California reduce heart attacks and stroke–related hospital admissions among its own members by 60 percent.
“Before PHASE, treating people with heart disease could require many office visits and phone calls – as the patient and physician worked together to find the right combination of medications and behavior modifications,” said Marc Jaffe, MD, one of the PHASE program innovators. He’s an endocrinologist and internist at Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco. “This made it difficult for some members to stick with their treatment plan. We developed the PHASE program in 2002 with the goal of reducing heart attacks and strokes by making treatment more accessible, affordable, consistent and convenient for our members.”
In 2006 the organization began sharing the program with community health centers through a combination of grant funding, clinical expertise and physician mentors. Today more than 50 clinic sites in Northern California are participating in PHASE and serving more than 35,000 people enrolled in the program.
“This grant will help the community health centers in our region identify and prevent heart attacks and strokes in our at–risk low income and uninsured patients,” said Dolores Alvarado, CEO of Community Health Partnership. “We are grateful for Kaiser Permanente's continued investment in health centers, specifically in the area of successful management of chronic health problems.”
The new grants will continue support for health organizations that are already using PHASE, to help them increase enrollment and expand the program’s scope to treat other conditions, such as hypertension. Other grants will help health organizations adopt team–based care models and technical improvements – such as electronic health records – that are foundational for implementing chronic care programs, including PHASE. Other grants will support overall evaluation and training support for the overall initiative and PHASE grantees.
“Collaboration saves lives, and it is helping us participate in the transformation of care delivery,” said Jaffe. “By taking the best of what’s working for our members and sharing it with the larger health care community, we are also beginning to develop a more efficient care delivery model that results in better health.”