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South Asian Heart Center to Join Million Hearts Initiative

Mountain View, CA - March 11, 2013 - The South Asian Heart Center at El Camino Hospital, the first major non-profit organization dedicated to combating heart disease among the South Asian community, today announced that it has joined Million Hearts™, a national initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

"The South Asian community is four times as likely to be affected by heart disease compared to the general population, and while we have made great strides in educating our local community, there is still a lot of work to be done," said Ashish Mathur, executive director of the Center, based in Mountain View, Calif. "We are honored to have been invited and recognized by Million Hearts™ and are committed to doing our part to support this critical effort and bring prevention and education messages to South Asian communities across the country."

Launched in 2011 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Million Hearts™ aims to prevent heart disease and stroke by:

  • Empowering Americans to make healthy choices such as preventing tobacco use and reducing sodium and trans fat consumption. This can reduce the number of people who need medical treatment such as blood pressure or cholesterol medications to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
  • Improving care for people who do need treatment by encouraging a targeted focus on the "ABCS" – Aspirin for people at risk, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management and Smoking cessation – which address the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and can help to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

The goals of Million Hearts™ align closely with the work already being conducted at the Center, including education, nutrition counseling, lifestyle recommendations and case management follow up.

"We've developed a unique AIM to Prevent™ program to help participants manage and mitigate their personal risk for heart disease and diabetes," said Cesar Molina, MD, medical director of the Center. "Conventional guidelines for identifying increased risk aren't always applicable for South Asians so we utilize an advanced screening process that focuses on clinical and behavioral risk factors specific to this population. Equally important, we have educated hundreds of physicians about the unique South Asian risk factors, leading both to better identification of high risk patients and better prevention efforts."

"We are pleased to welcome to Million Hearts™ a partner that is already working to reach a community so disproportionally at risk," said Janet Wright, MD, executive director of Million Hearts™. "We look forward to working with the South Asian Heart Center to share this model of comprehensive, culturally appropriate programming focused on education and risk reduction with other communities across the country."

Million Hearts™ brings together existing efforts and new programs to improve health across communities and help Americans live longer, healthier, more productive lives. Organizations from both the public and private sectors are involved in the effort including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, co-leaders of Million Hearts™ within the Department of Health and Human Services, along with other federal agencies and key private-sector partners including the American Heart Association, YMCA, and many others.

About the South Asian Heart Center

The South Asian Heart Center, the first major non-profit devoted to combating the growing epidemic of heart disease among people from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, has developed a unique preventative program. Offered at a minimal, subsidized cost, the Center assesses the risk for heart disease and diabetes using an advanced screening process that keys in on risk factors specific to this population, and helps participants manage and mitigate their risk through education, nutrition counseling, lifestyle recommendations, and case-managed follow-up.

About Million Hearts™

Million Hearts™ is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Million Hearts™ brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke. For more information on the initiative, please visit

About El Camino Hospital
El Camino Hospital is an acute-care, 443-bed, nonprofit and locally governed organization with campuses in Mountain View and Los Gatos, Calif. In addition to state-of-the-art emergency departments, key medical specialties include heart and vascular, cancer care, urology, orthopedic and spine, genomic medicine, and the only Women’s Hospital in Northern California. The hospital is recognized as a national leader in the use of health information technology and wireless communications, and has been awarded the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center as well as back-to-back ANCC Magnet Recognitions for Nursing Care.