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    SCAI’s Regional Public Education Program Sparks Discussion About Future of U.S. Healthcare

    October 27, 2010

    Healthcare providers, patients and their families, journalists and others gathered in Pittsburgh last week for the latest in SCAI's Know What Counts regional public education programs. Focused on the potential impact of healthcare reform, the event brought together speakers representing many of the decision-makers who influence healthcare outcomes, including Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato*, representatives from the health insurance industry and  academic medical center administration, interventional cardiology, and preventive cardiac nursing. A special highlight was the testimonial given by a local patient who has survived three heart attacks and worries about how health reform could affect his access to specialty care in the future.  

    Directed by SCAI Trustee Tony G. Farah, M.D., FSCAI, and co-directed by Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA) Trustee Barbara J. Fletcher, RN, MSN, FPCNA, FAAN, the program sparked discussion about how the United States will address the rising cost of healthcare while ensuring patients receive timely quality care. An exchange between a local doctor and Mr. Onorato resulted in media coverage of the event in all three of the area's newspapers: the Pittsburgh Business Times, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review

    "The Know What Counts series is an excellent opportunity for SCAI to interact with patients and other healthcare providers about issues of importance to our mission," said Dr. Farah. "These programs expand the Society's visibility and position us as thought-leaders in areas that impact our patients' outcomes. Last week's discussion on health reform was an example of the educational and awareness activities we can lead."

    Attendees thought the program was important, too. One attendee wrote: "These sessions should be taped and run on public television. What a great overview from all perspectives of the dynamics that will be involved in healthcare reform." Her sentiments were echoed by other participants, many of whom remarked on the value of bringing together a diverse audience and speakers with different perspectives. This Know What Counts program was cosponsored by PCNA and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.

    Past Know What Counts programs have focused on disparities in cardiovascular care delivery and outcomes, and improving adherence to recommended lifestyle changes and medical regimens - click here to view earlier programs.

    Know What Counts public events are often paired with professional education programs for physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers. In Pittsburgh, SCAI and partner organizations PCNA and WomenHeart, hosted a dinner program on personalized medicine. The program was well-attended and received good feedback for helping attendees understand how advances in biomarkers research, genetic testing and gene therapy may someday impact cardiovascular care.

    Videotaped highlights from the Know What Counts public program will be posted on www.SCAI.org and www.Seconds-Count.org.

    SCAI has undertaken the Know What Counts regional education program series with its own resources as well as commercial funding and support from Abbott Vascular and Medtronic CardioVascular. The Society gratefully acknowledges this support while taking sole responsibility for all content developed and disseminated through the effort.

    For more information about this program or the Know What Counts series, email Kathy David at kbdavid@scai.org>

    * Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett was also invited to participate.