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NVFC Partners with Novartis

NVFC Partners with Novartis

Saturday, 01 July 2006

Christine Cascio (left), Director of Product Public Relations for Novartis, presents a $50,000 check to NVFC Board member Jack R. Carriger and Director of Health and Safety Maggie Wilson at the NVFC spring Board meeting on April 7. Photo courtesy of Ed Tenney, Rockville Volunteer Fire Department.

The National Volunteer Fire Council's (NVFC) Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program signed a partnership with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in a proactive measure to educate firefighters about the risks of uncontrolled hypertension, a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. As part of this new partnership, Novartis presented a $50,000 check to the NVFC program on April 7 during the NVFC's annual spring Board meeting in Arlington, Virginia.

"Firefighters are at a particularly high risk for hypertension, and both the NVFC and Novartis are dedicated to educating firefighters about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent the serious effects of this disease," said Maggie Wilson, Director of Health and Safety at the NVFC. "If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Together, the NVFC and Novartis will work to teach firefighters both how to improve cardiovascular health and manage high blood pressure."

Christine Cascio, Director of Product Public Relations for Novartis, and Molly Grodin, Senior Account Executive of the healthcare public relations company Chamberlain Communications Group, publicly launched the partnership with the check presentation to the NVFC. Cascio commended the NVFC Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program and outlined the direction of what promises to be a very successful collaboration as the two organizations work together to achieve their common goal of promoting heart-health among firefighters.

The partnership includes disseminating important information about the management of hypertension, blood pressure screening events for firefighters, a heart-healthy cookbook and distribution of Heart-Healthy Firefighter Resource Guides. Football legend Joe Montana and cardiologist James M. Rippe, MD, who serve as the spokespersons for Novartis' high blood pressure education campaign The BP Success Zone, will conduct a series of educational talks to firefighters in several cities across the nation.

Montana was diagnosed with high blood pressure in 2002 and serves as an exemplary success story for lowering his blood pressure. Through a combination of exercise, eating healthier and finding the right medication, Montana has kept his blood pressure to goal for more than two years.

High blood pressure contributes to the deaths of almost 30 people every hour of every day. More than 65 million adult Americans, or one in three, have high blood pressure. However, nearly 70 percent of these do not have their blood pressure controlled to the recommended level of less than 140/90 mm Hg.

For more information about high blood pressure and The BP Success Zone, visit www.getbpdown.com. For information about the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program, visit .

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