Public health initiatives exist and are being supported by societies and policymakers to address the healthcare challenges. These strategies are outlined to help local and state institutions create actionable plans, receive funding, and develop materials to solve problems aligning with the national goals (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020). For instance, the Million Hearts initiative was established to prevent million heart attacks and strokes nationwide within five years, and it is focused on the implementation of evidence-based practices to improve cardiovascular health (Million Hearts, 2021). This paper aims to analyze the cultural, ethical, regulatory, and legal factors influencing the Million Hearts program and discuss how the healthcare legislation can impact its application.
Million Hearts Initiative Summary
Cardiovascular diseases cause the most deaths for the United States citizens, and Million Hearts addresses this significant challenge. The program’s priorities are prevention achieved through population education, relevant healthcare services optimization for therapy and rehabilitation, and focus on the groups with the highest stroke or heart attack prevalence (Million Hearts, 2021). The related website, https://millionhearts.hhs.gov/, contains guidelines, resources, tools, practices, and legislative documentation necessary for state or local healthcare providers to develop their actionable plans.
The initiative’s sources include protocols for nursing practitioners, physicians, policymakers, publishing recent cardiovascular health statistics, and sharing news about activities performed by different organizations. The program began in 2012, intending to prevent one million heart attacks by 2017, yet had only 500,000 events by 2016, and now strives to make the initial goal achieved by 2022 (Wright et al., 2018). Million Hearts also runs multiple campaigns to increase public attention to the health challenge and distribute information about lifestyle-based preventative measures.
Factors Influencing Cardiovascular Diseased Initiatives
Cultural, ethical, regulatory, and legal factors influence how the population health initiative is perceived and executed to impact the current situation. Groups suffering from cardiovascular diseases are people aged 35 to 64, those who experienced a heart attack, had substance disorders, using tobacco, and African Americans with high blood pressure (Million Hearts, 2021). Traditions in eating and lifestyle influence habits developed by populations and might have severe outcomes. For instance, the culture of fast food prioritization of work and career-building makes people consume fat and sugary products, experience continuous stress, and increase the risk of stroke.
From an ethical perspective, the health challenge raises the problem of evaluation to what extent government and healthcare providers must influence personal choices to decrease the prevalence among the risk groups. Consequently, the regulatory factor involves the policies established to reduce tobacco use, alcohol consumption and promote physical activities as preventative measures (Boehme et al., 2017). Legal aspects to address the health challenges are mostly related to nutrition, such as the law to reduce dietary sodium at schools and institutional settings and policies to affect pricing strategies and public information (Boehme et al., 2017). Most states’ governments support the Million Hearts program, helping healthcare providers successfully establish prevention programs.
Current Healthcare Legislation’s Impact
Current healthcare legislation positively impacts the implementation of the Million Hearts initiative because the recent program’s practices are adjusted to be applicable for most states without the need for significant changes. Furthermore, as cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among the adult population, politics increase their authority by implementing and supporting the policies which help deal with the challenge (Nash et al., 2021). Current legislation established to regulate dietary sodium consumption, tax policies, and tobacco control laws also positively address the initiative nationwide.
Million Hearts is an example of a public initiative that addresses population health challenges and is supported by healthcare providers and policymakers. The program includes the sources necessary for states to develop and effectively execute treatment and prevention strategies. The risk groups’ representatives are affected by their cultures and lifestyles; therefore, multiple legislative and regulatory practices have been developed to decrease the chances of developing a disease. Such measures are food-related legal policies, public educational campaigns, and Million Hearts’ support for local healthcare facilities’ programs.
Boehme, A. K., Esenwa, C., & Elkind, M. S. (2017). Stroke risk factors, genetics, and prevention. Circulation Research, 120(3), 472-495. Web.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). National health initiatives, strategies & action plans. Web.
Million Hearts. (2021). About Million Hearts. Web.
Nash, D. B., Skoufalos, A., Fabius, R. J. & Oglesby, W. H. (2021). Population health: Creating a culture of wellness (3rd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Wright, J. S., Wall, H. K., & Ritchey, M. D. (2018). Million Hearts 2022: small steps are needed for cardiovascular disease prevention. JAMA, 320(18), 1857-1858. Web.