PINEHURST – FirstHealth of the Carolinas, in partnership with the North Carolina American Indian Health Board (NCAIHB), has received a $10,000 subcontract from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), to conduct programs around chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. NHLBI is part of the National Institutes of Health.
The award is part of the NHLBI’s COPD Learn More Breathe Better® program(LMBB). FirstHealthwill undertake programs in Hoke and Richmond counties to increase health care provider and public awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), placing special emphasis on American Indian families and communities in those counties through the NCAIHB partnership.
“This subcontract is an exciting opportunity for us,” says Chris Miller, administrative director of FirstHealth Community Health Services. “We are committed to educating the public and raising awareness about COPD, and we are thrilled to get NHLBI’s support for the communities we serve. For this award, we plan to conduct community screenings, health care provider education opportunities and a broader community awareness campaign.”
“We are very happy to be a part of this partnership to address this very serious matter,” says Ronny Bell, M.D., chair of the North Carolina American Indian Health Board and professor of Public Health Sciences at Wake Forest School of Medicine. “American Indian people in our state face a number of health challenges and, unfortunately, not much attention is paid to poor lung health.”
The subcontract will allow FirstHealth to focus on a variety of areas including increasing awareness and education of COPD, encouraging action and addressing the benefits of early detection and treatment to slowing the disease while helping many people in Hoke and Richmond counties and the surrounding areas.
Known by other names, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, COPD is a serious lung disease that makes it harder and harder to breathe over time. It causes serious long-term disability and is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
The number of people with COPD is continually increasing. More than 12 million people are currently diagnosed with the disease, and an additional 12 million are likely to have the disease without realizing it. Nearly seven percent of all residents of North Carolina have been told that they have COPD.
A look at specific races in North Carolina found extremely high rates of COPD in the American Indian population, which has a rate of 18 percent as compared to seven percent in Caucasian Americans and six percent in African-Americans.
FirstHealth and NCAIHB will work to improve health care provider and public awareness of COPD, and LMBB will receive increased support for its program goals. Subcontracts were given to a total of nine applying organizations nationwide. Programs will be completed by October.
“COPD kills more than 120,000 Americans each year and, when left untreated or undiagnosed, it’s a deadly disease,” says James P. Kiley, Ph.D., director of the Division of Lung Diseases at the NHLBI. “Through these subcontracts, NHLBI is able to increase its capacity for COPD education and awareness in areas of need.”
The COPD Learn More Breathe Better program provides educational materials, a website and additional communications tools for organizations on the ground. The program targets the needs of the public, including those at risk for COPD and those already diagnosed with the disease.
For more information on Community Health Services, click here.
March 28, 2016
Moore Free and Charitable Care Clinic Recognizes FirstHealth EmployeeMelinda Wallace SOUTHERN PINES – Melinda Wallace, the resource coordinator for FirstHealth Cares, the FirstHealth of the Carolinas medication assista…
March 22, 2016
Women’s Health Topics to Highlight FirstHealth “Girl Talk” ProgramPINEHURST – Heart, breast and bone health are among the most-discussed women’s health topics of today, and each will be highlighted during the upcomi…
January 5, 2016
FirstHealth of the Carolinas receives $450,000 grant from The Duke EndowmentPINEHURST – FirstHealth of the Carolinas’ First-In-Health 2020 Task Forces in Montgomery and Richmond counties have received a $450,000 grant from Th…
October 3, 2016
34th Annual Wellness Screening Day - Pre-ScreensWellness Screening Day pre-screens are available at Richmond Memorial on the following dates from 6 to 9:30 a.m. Monday, September 26 Tuesday, Sept…