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Fight and Manage Chronic Disease Using Multicultural Educational Resources

In 2009, cardiovascular disease—including heart disease and stroke—accounted for nearly one-third of all deaths. Heart disease and stroke were ranked #1 and #4 among the 10 leading causes of death, respectively.1

Among ethnic groups, African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Filipinos, and Latinos experience the highest rates of cardiovascular disease.2 To help curb this growing trend, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) created a heart health curriculum entitled Healthy Heart, Healthy Family to empower these populations with specific tools to manage their cardiovascular health.

Healthy Heart, Healthy Family is an evidence-based cardiovascular program that provides a curriculum on subjects that aim to promote heart healthy behaviors and lifestyles, such as:

  • How to recognize the signs of a heart attack
  • How to eat and cook healthy foods in your home
  • How to eat healthy on a budget
  • How to control high blood pressure

The program also engages community health workers and provides them with information to teach the importance of screening and regulating cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Community health workers also educate participants on lifestyle changes that can improve their cardiovascular health.

Kokua Kalihi Valley, a federally qualified health center located in Hawaii, serves a large Filipino population. It collaborated with NHLBI to implement Healthy Heart, Healthy Family into its practice setting. The results yielded an improvement among clinical measures, including lower blood pressure at 6 months* and lower fasting blood glucose and cholesterol levels at 6 and 12 months.

This collaboration demonstrates that, by addressing one’s cardiac risk factors with a curriculum-based program such as Healthy Family, Healthy Heart, individuals can reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, other chronic conditions, and premature death.



*Blood pressure improvement was not seen at 12 months.

Date Posted:
Organization Name: Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services
Program Name: 

Healthy Heart, Healthy Family

2239 N School Street
Honolulu, HI 96819
United States
Healthy People 2020 Topic Area(s) addressed: 
Healthy People 2020 Objective(s) addressed: 
Healthy People 2020 overarching goal addressed: 
Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups.
Fernandes R, Braun K, Braun L, Spinner JR, Sturdevant C, Ancheta SJ, Yoshimura SR, Compton M, Wang J, and Lee CJ. "Healthy Heart, Healthy Family: A NHLBI/HRSA Collaborative Employing Community Health Workers to Improve Heart Health." Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 23.3 (2012): 988-999. Project MUSE. Web. 12 Feb. 2013.
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