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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2003

Get Your "Passport" to Cardiovascular Health

DAYTON, OHIO-A large community coalition is dedicating April 28 to educate physicians, health professions students, community leaders, and you about cardiovascular health. The public is invited to a free health fair and screening and to hear a guest speaker discuss the importance of media in getting health care messages to the community. The event begins at 4:00 p.m. at the Shiloh United Church of Christ, 5300 Philadelphia Drive at North Main Street.

Robert C. Hornik, Ph.D., the Wilbur Schramm Professor of Communication and Health Policy of the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, will share his expertise in the talk, "Cardiovascular Disease: Improving the Health of a Community - the Message and the Media," at 7:30 p.m. Dr. Hornik is a nationally recognized expert in public health communication and education programs, including cardiovascular risk reduction, domestic violence prevention, AIDS prevention, and anti-drug media campaigns. People interested in understanding how the power of the mass media can be directed to affect change in the health of a community will find this especially interesting.

Throughout the church that evening, community health care organizations will provide free screenings for stroke, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Educators will provide information for individuals on nutrition, the relationship between weight and heart attack, metabolic disorders, and more. Participants will receive a sticker on their "Passport" at each station. When completed, the "Passport" becomes a record that can be shared with a physician and entitles the bearer to a free gift.

The event is part of the Hittner Community Health Event, supported by the Division of Health Systems Management at Wright State University School of Medicine. Three years ago, Zoe and Bob Hittner, M.D., Shiloh Church members, endowed a community health event at Wright State University School of Medicine to cover topics relating to health care, social issues, faith, and culture. Besides hosting the event, the church will provide refreshments. Annual partners in the Hittner Community Event include Sinclair Community College, Shiloh Church, Good Samaritan Hospital, and the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association.

The event will also kickoff a new community grant to Wright State from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Dayton is one of 12 communities throughout the country who are part of the Enhanced Dissemination and Utilization Centers, a program focused on implementing heart-health education strategies in high-risk communities. The $500,000, three-year project focuses upon identifying cardiovascular risk factors and preventing cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Hornik will begin the day with a breakfast meeting with hospital administrators, governmental officials, business executives, and select media. Later, he will present Grand Rounds for physicians at Good Samaritan Hospital, sharing with them the media perspective on health care issues and how health professionals can develop and promote community health information. In the afternoon, Hornik will meet with medical, nursing, communication, and allied health students.

Dr. Richard Schuster, Oscar Boonshoft Chair of the Division of Health Systems Management and associate professor of community health and internal medicine, leads the community efforts for both the grant and the community event. "We have an excellent opportunity to help Dayton become a healthier community," he says, "and April 28 brings together local and national projects in a way that positively impacts all of us. I hope people will attend and complete their "Passport" to good cardiovascular health."

Additional partners this year for the health screening include, the Know Your Numbers Coalition, American Heart Association, and the Dayton Area Heart and Cancer Association.

For more information about the event, call 258-5555.