For more information contact: Boonshoft School of Medicine, Judi Engle, Office of Public Relations, (937) 775-2951

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2004

Pan-American Health Organization Representatives Learn from
Wright State's Educational Strategies

DAYTON, Ohio--Dayton will host representatives from the Pan-American Health Organization October 5 and 6 at the request of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Key health care officials from Colombia, Chile, and Costa Rica will learn more about Dayton's education strategies for reducing heart disease and stroke in the community.

In 2002, Health Systems Management at Wright State University was awarded a three-year contract from the NHLBI and became one of 12 centers across the country to form a network, the Enhanced Dissemination and Utilization Centers. The projects target high-risk communities and seek to identify cardiovascular risk factors and prevent cardiovascular disease.

The foreign dignitaries include Deputy Director of Public Health of Colombia Gloria Castillo; Dr. Cecilia Rosas from the Ministry of Health in Chile; and Director of Health Development Darlyn Castanedas from Costa Rica. These three countries are part of a large international program, CARMEN, to reduce the number of non-infectious diseases, which account for two-thirds of the total number of deaths in the Americas. These deaths are often dependent upon risk factors and lifestyles that are amenable to modification, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes.

Community partners include Premier Cholesterol Reduction Project, the Good Samaritan Hospital Urban Health Center Hypertension-Obesity Project, the Premier Physician Obesity Awareness Project, and the Know Your Numbers mass media campaign. The project's goals are to increase community and physician awareness of the critical risk factors that contribute to heart attack and stroke and to reduce their impact on the Dayton community.While in Dayton, the group will tour Premier Healthnet physician offices and the Drew Health Center and will meet medical students, physicians, health district and medical school officials. They will meet with the leadership of the Know Your Numbers coalition, including WHIO-TV, the media partner for the Know Your Numbers campaign.

The Dayton project is coordinated by the Division of Health Systems Management in the Department of Community Health at Wright State University. "We're honored to be recommended for a site visit and pleased to be a host site. This is an opportunity to share our strategies and success with an international group and to learn more about the issues other countries face," says Dr. Richard Schuster, Boonshoft Chair and Director of the Division of Health Systems Management and associate professor of community health and internal medicine. "We face very high risks in our own community for heart attack and stroke. By working with physicians and promoting public education through the Know Your Numbers campaign, we have successfully reduced those risks in our community. We're honored to be asked to demonstrate these successes internationally."

The dignitaries will also attend the NHLBI workshop held in Washington, D.C., in mid-October where Dr. Schuster is an invited speaker.