CDC includes pharmacists in proven models for heart disease prevention

New guide created in collaboration with Million Hearts

Identifying effective ways to directly lower high blood pressure and cholesterol for Americans continues to be a priority for CDC. The latest example is a guide, newly released from CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, on best practices for cardiovascular disease prevention. The guide highlights strategies that are proven to be effective but are not yet widely used in practice settings.

“What really stood out to me is that [the guide] spends a lot of time and brings a lot of attention to the holistic approach to patient care that includes all providers, including pharmacists,” said Kathleen Lusk, PharmD, BCPS, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at the University of the Incarnate Word Feik School of Pharmacy. “And it’s evidence based.”

The pharmacist’s role is emphasized throughout the document. In fact, one of the highlighted strategies includes elevating pharmacist’s involvement in patient care. The guide also calls on a team-based care model, activating patient involvement through self-management, reducing out-of-pocket costs for medications, and more.

The guide is meant to be a supportive resource for stakeholders who are interested in strategies to improve cardiovascular health and who are looking for available evidence, resources, and tools to carry that out.

The guide, created in collaboration with the Million Hearts initiative, is called Best Practices for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Programs: A Guide to Effective Health Care System Interventions and Community-Clinical Links. It can be downloaded at