Building bridges: A partnership between professional nursing and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke

Sandra B. Dunbar*, George A. Mensah, Darwin R. Labarthe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The escalating burden of heart disease and stroke in the United States, coupled with the complexity of public health goals to prevent and control chronic diseases, warrant new strategies and partners. The 2.7 million nurses in the United States represent the nation's largest healthcare profession and, through their professional organizations, constitute a strategic partner for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Heart Disease and Stroke Programs. In addition, because heart disease and stroke rank first and third among leading causes of death in women in the United States, and 95% of nurses are women, nurses represent an important population to target with preventive cardiovascular health approaches. The authors describe a proposed CDC strategic partnership with professional nursing organizations, including goals aimed at improving the capacity of nurses as change agents in the area of heart disease and stroke, as well as promoting change among the change agents to reduce nurses' risk for cardiovascular disease. The primary goals of the partnership between key professional nursing organizations and the CDC Cardiovascular Health (CVH) Programs follow: (1) share information and develop effective communication; (2) link with key professional and community organizations; (3) assess capabilities and expertise that nursing organizations can add to CDC's internal and external partnerships, including the Public Health Action Plan; (4) explore possible linkages with the CDC-funded state-level heart disease and stroke prevention programs and emerging CDC stroke networks; (5) develop, disseminate, and apply evidence-based guidelines to improve outcomes of care; and (6) develop policy and environment strategies in work-site settings to prevent heart disease and stroke in women and among the membership of professional nursing organizations. The development and implementation of a CDC CVH Program Professional Nurse Partnership have strong potential for enhancing collaborative public health efforts to prevent heart disease and stroke, and to improve cardiovascular outcomes for hypertension, high cholesterol, myocardial infarction, stroke, and heart failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-127
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number5 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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