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Governor signs bill at Cardiovascular Innovation Institute

April 23rd, 2007

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Gov. Ernie Fletcher signs House Bill 185.

Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher visited the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute April 18 for a signing ceremony of House Bill 185, the legislation establishing the Kentucky Cardiovascular Disease Initiative.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Harry Moberly (D-Richmond) is intended to improve the heart health of Kentucky residents who suffer from or are at risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), one of the commonwealth’s leading causes of death.

Seventy-three of Kentucky’s 120 counties have cardiovascular disease mortality rates above the national average. Twenty counties exceed the national average by 25 percent. Women make up 53 percent of all CVD deaths in Kentucky, and CVD accounts for one-third of all female deaths in the state.

House Bill 185 establishes programs to provide early identification of high-risk CVD patients. The initiative includes screening and identification of risk factors through Kentucky’s health departments and schools, development of a web-based tool, treatment for patients in their home communities and development of a new educational program for teenagers and children.

A partnership between the University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare, the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute strives to improve quality of life for heart failure patients by building on the success of both institutions’ work with ventricular assist devices and artificial hearts.

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