Kentucky Against Stroke and Heart Disease (KASH)
The KASH committee works to utilize and implement evidence-based prevention strategies. Through continued community education from member organizations of the KHDSP Task Force, the goal is to use consistent prevention messages throughout the Commonwealth to decrease the number of heart disease and stroke incidents in Kentucky. The Cardiovascular, Assessment, Risk-reduction and Education (CARE) Collaborative is implemented by the KASH committee with the goal of reaching the community, worksites, and health care facilities with these prevention strategies. The CARE Collaborative seeks to increase the number of individuals in a community with controlled blood pressure in order to decrease the risk of cardiovascular events. This is accomplished by increasing the number of adults who are age 18 years and above who have their blood pressure measured and can state whether it is normal or high. Through educational encounters, the CARE Collaborative provides strategies for identifying and lowering high blood pressure. This free blood pressure awareness program is being utilized by partners statewide.
The CARE Collaborative can be implemented in a variety of settings such as hospitals, clinics, health departments, physical activity centers, worksites, pharmacies, private practice, churches, self-management programs, etc. However, each setting that wishes to implement the CARE Collaborative program must be trained and authorized by the Kentucky Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program. This program seeks to implement effective prevention strategies with an emphasis on community-clinical linkages. The KASH committee works continually to review, evaluate, and update these prevention efforts.
The Health Literacy subcommittee of KASH aims to develop tools to educate individuals and increase their understanding of their health numbers and what they mean.
The Standardized Messaging subcommittee exists within the Kentucky Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force to create a simplified resource library for use within any healthcare organization or community outreach program.
Gina Brien is the Assistant Director for the Division of Women’s Health at the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH). She most recently served as the Executive Director for the Appalachian Kentucky Health Care Access Network (AKHCAN) with the mission of increasing the number of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Kentucky through training and technical assistance. She is a member of the state CHW workgroup, KDPH Asthma Leadership Team, Kentucky Asthma Partnership, and the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Association of Community Health Workers (KYACHW). Gina has over 15 years of public health experience from previously serving as the Health Education Director with the Montgomery County Health Department.