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Sanofi-aventis Partners with the Hispanic Community in Miami to Increase Health Awareness, Access to Resources and Help Improve Patient Care
Date:3/5/2009

The Sanofi-Aventis U.S. Community Health Partnership - It's In Our Hands - Has Been Designed To Help Improve Patient Care By Connecting Patients And Caregivers To Healthcare Resources And Services In Local Communities

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., March 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sanofi-aventis announced the initiation of its Community Health Partnership (CHP), It's In Our Hands, in the Miami area, seeking to link Hispanic residents with local healthcare professionals and health resources in their neighborhoods. Language, cultural barriers and lack of access to preventive care are key contributing factors to poor health outcomes among Hispanics and by providing patients with in-language and culturally relevant health information, the program aims to decrease healthcare disparities and encourages individuals to take action toward better health.

In Miami alone, the health statistics in the Hispanic community are considerable:

  • US Hispanics in Miami-Dade County are:
    • 20% more likely to suffer a stroke than whites
    • 33% more likely to suffer from hypertension than US Hispanics in the rest of Florida
  • US Hispanic women in Miami-Dade County are:
    • 18% more likely to suffer from diabetes than white women
  • 1 in 3 US Hispanic adults in Miami suffers from insomnia.
  • Nationwide, US Hispanic men in their 70's are 48x more likely to have peripheral artery disease than those in their 40's.
  • On average, every 19 minutes, a US Hispanic will be diagnosed with first-time occurrence of deep vein thrombosis.

To address the need for improved health education and ongoing medical care, the CHP will work to build healthy communities by strengthening the connections among patients, healthcare providers and the community-based health resources already available.

"Our goal with this partnership is not to create a new program within the Miami community, but to support and enhance access to the resources already available," stated Dennis Urbaniak, vice president of Innovation and New Customer Channels, sanofi-aventis. "By establishing meaningful, long-term connections among patients, healthcare providers and resources, we hope to encourage the community to take advantage of its available resources to achieve better health. The necessary components are already in place, we are simply helping to strengthen links within the community and extend their reach to more people."

One of the key elements in maintaining and strengthening local links is the community health liaison (CHL), who will be based in Miami to facilitate continued community resource collaboration. The liaison will help bridge the information gap between local health resources and patients by facilitating the flow of information between community groups and the Hispanic community.

"There is a large unmet need in the national Hispanic community for better access to care and improved health outcomes," stated Marisel Losa, Executive Director and CEO, Health Council of South Florida. "To address this, we engaged in dialogue with both national and local community organizations to build our understanding of the Hispanic community's needs and to identify how the CHP can help bridge health disparities and help patients take their personal healthcare to the next level."

Sanofi-aventis will work with local community outreach organizations to develop a Health Resource Guide and other supporting materials containing detailed information on existing health programs to help community members locate and utilize the health resources in the Miami area. The Health Resource Guide will be distributed to patients in Miami through the local physicians and community-based programs associated with the partnership.

"Although a range of health resources are often available to patients in major cities and urban environments, there often is not enough awareness or dialog about available programs, treatments or access to proper care. Consequently, these resources often go underutilized and the patients that need them most remain underserved," continued Lilia Bandrich, Community Health Liaison. "By directly linking the many facets of the Hispanic community, the CHP seeks to change this, by empowering patients to improve their health through increased awareness and access to the resources in their communities."

In addition to Miami, the CHP will be initiated in 5 other cities, including: New York, San Antonio, Newark, Memphis and Baltimore and will provide members of these communities with actionable steps to combat a variety of medical conditions including diabetes, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, insomnia and deep vein thrombosis.

For more information about the Community Health Partnership, please call 866-614-2637.

About sanofi-aventis

Sanofi-aventis U.S. is an affiliate of sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions to help improve the lives of patients. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

For more information, visit: www.sanofi-aventis.us or www.sanofi-aventis.com

    US Contacts:
    Amy Ba
    Amy.ba@sanofi-aventis.com
    (908) 243-4261

US.NMH.08.09.024


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SOURCE sanofi-aventis
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