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National Minority Quality Forum Creates Advanced, Precision Tracking Tool to Address Prevalence of Peripheral Arterial Disease
Date:9/15/2009

Peripheral Arterial Disease Coalition Joins Forum to Help Reduce Burden of Disease and Associated Costs on Individuals and Healthcare System

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), one of the nation's leading voices in the health disparities discussion, is launching the P.A.D. Atlas, a database that maps by zip code peripheral arterial disease (P.A.D.) prevalence down to the street level, with the P.A.D. Coalition and support from the Bristol-Myers Squibb/Sanofi Pharmaceuticals Partnership. The P.A.D. Atlas (www.mappad.org) will be demonstrated during a launch event at 9:30 a.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on September 15th. September is P.A.D. Awareness Month.

"Through timely detection and treatment of P.A.D., we can prevent heart attacks, strokes and even death. By using the P.A.D. Atlas, we can more effectively target educational and advocacy efforts to improve the quality of care and save lives," said Gwen Twillman, P.A.D. Coalition's Executive Director.

Approximately 9 million Americans suffer from P.A.D -- a type of cardiovascular disease that primarily affects individuals over 50 years of age. Minorities are disproportionately affected as well. Having P.A.D doubles the risk of a heart attack or stroke. In fact, the P.A.D. Atlas shows that sixty-seven percent of individuals who have had a stroke live in the 8,615 zip codes identified to have a high prevalence of P.A.D. Undiagnosed and untreated P.A.D. also has a dramatic economic impact on the healthcare system. The cities with the most diagnosed cases of P.A.D. are Chicago, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Houston and Los Angeles.

P.A.D. results when arteries in the legs become narrowed, hardened, or clogged with plaque. Common symptoms include leg pain when walking and wounds that are slow to heal. P.A.D. can also lead to disability, amputation, and poor quality of life.

Researchers, patient advocacy groups, legislators and allied health professionals can use the

P.A.D. Atlas to identify prevalence of P.A.D. at the national, state, and local levels to direct educational resources where they are needed most.

"The launch of the P.A.D. Atlas is of great significance, especially to the racial and ethnic minority community. Being able to identify P.A.D prevalence among constituents is extremely useful to reduce preventable illness and will help raise awareness of and address health disparities in these underserved populations," said Rep. Donna M. Christensen (D-VI).

"We are proud to partner with the P.A.D. Coalition and their membership of committed partners on this very important initiative. Special thanks to the Bristol-Myers Squibb/Sanofi Pharmaceuticals Partnership for their visionary leadership, their commitment to ending health disparities among the underserved and for their support in helping to make the P.A.D. Atlas initiative a reality," said Gary Puckrein, CEO, NMQF.

About the National Minority Quality Forum

Gary A. Puckrein, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Minority Quality Forum founded the organization in 1998 to address the critical need for strengthening national and local efforts to use evidence-based, data-driven initiatives to guide programs to eliminate the disproportionate burden of premature death and preventable illness for racial and ethnic minorities and other special populations. The Forum has introduced disease atlases for chronic kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, and HIV/AIDS.

Since 2004, the Forum has hosted the Annual Leadership Summit in April, focusing on disparities and improving quality of health care for all minorities. This event brings together congressional leaders, federal, state and local government, physicians, managed-care, pharmaceutical companies and patient and minority advocacy groups to support the implementation of integrated solutions to improve health care for minority populations. For more information, visit: www.nmqf.org.

About the P.A.D. Coalition

The Peripheral Arterial Disease (P.A.D.) Coalition is an alliance of leading health organizations, vascular health professional societies, and government agencies united to raise public and health professional awareness about lower extremity P.A.D. Established in 2004, the P.A.D. Coalition is a division of the Vascular Disease Foundation (http://www.vdf.org/), a national, non-profit section 501(c)(3) organization. The P.A.D. Coalition seeks to improve the prevention, early detection, treatment, and rehabilitation of people with, or at risk for, P.A.D. For more information, visit: www.padcoalition.org.


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SOURCE National Minority Quality Forum
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