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Wanted: 15 Creighton Employees for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Program

Wanted: 15 Creighton Employees for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Program

Creighton University will launch a year-long pilot program in August that is designed to help employees reduce their risks for cardiovascular disease.

The University’s Department of Human Resources and departments of pharmacy practice and cardiology are spearheading the effort.

Fifteen Creighton employees with previously diagnosed high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol will be accepted into the pilot phase of the Creighton Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Program. To be eligible, employees must be enrolled in the University’s health care benefit plan. Along with monitoring participants’ medications for proper dosing, the project will offer individualized counseling for lifestyle behaviors such as nutrition, physical activity, weight loss and control, tobacco cessation, said Thomas Lenz, Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice and program clinical director.

The University will pick up all program costs – including exercise privileges at The Cardiac Center at Creighton University, blood pressure and cholesterol medications, monthly reviews of medications and personalized nutrition, physical activity, and weight-control counseling by a pharmacist – as long as participants stick with the program.

“This program is designed to help employees prevent cardiovascular disease by making positive lifestyle changes,” Lenz said. “Ultimately, we hope the program will be a win-win for everyone. The patients reduce their health risks and improve the quality of their lives, and the University helps control rising costs associated with employee health insurance, sick days and disability.”

The effort is modeled after a diabetes risk-reduction program developed by the American Pharmacists Association Foundation and the city of Asheville, N.C., in the late 1990s and now used by more than 100 U.S. companies. Lenz believes Creighton is one of the first to use the highly successful model to reduce cardiovascular risk, the nation’s number one killer, and one of the first Nebraska employers to pay for blood-pressure and cholesterol medications as part of a risk reduction program.

For more information or to apply for the program, e-mail: tlenz@creighton.edu and use “cardiovascular risk reduction” as the subject line.