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July 21, 2005

Pharmacy takes info into community

Pitt’s School of Pharmacy has received an educational grant from NitroMed to begin Helpful Hands for Healthy Hearts, a patient-focused educational program for minority communities in the Pittsburgh area. The program will focus on providing information on hypertension and chronic heart failure, two of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease and mortality in minority populations.

Slated to begin this fall, the program will attempt to increase awareness of cardiovascular disease among African-American communities through a variety of outreach programs. Pitt pharmacy faculty and students from the Student National Pharmacy Association will deliver educational programs to churches and community centers in area minority communities.

The program will provide an overview of hypertension and chronic heart failure and will discuss general management strategies for cardiovascular disease, including lifestyle modifications, medications and other related treatment options. Participants will learn strategies for monitoring their own progress toward improved cardiovascular health.

Pharmacy administrators hope to integrate the program into the experiential learning courses and offer the program as a model to other pharmacy schools across the country.

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