PRA Health Sciences
PRA Health Sciences

This post is provided by the courtesy of the American Heart Association.

PRA is proud to be a sponsor of the Triangle Heart Ball 2018.

The Triangle Heart Ball, held this upcoming Saturday, February 24, is a grand celebration of the generous sponsors, individuals, and the dedicated executive volunteers who bring the mission of the American Heart Association to life in the Triangle.

And most importantly, we celebrate the lives that are saved or improved because our community stands strongly behind the mission of the American Heart Association. The Heart Ball promises to be an engaging evening of fun and passion, bringing community and philanthropic leaders together to celebrate their collection impact.

2018 HB Logo

This post is provided by the courtesy of the American Heart Association.

PRA is proud to be a sponsor of the Triangle Heart Ball 2018.

What is the goal of the Triangle Heart Ball?

The 2018 Triangle Heart Ball will raise a net of more than $1,200,000 thanks to generous corporate sponsors and individual donors as well as auction proceeds.

Last year the event raised over a million dollars. How are these funds used?

We use dollars raised through our Heart Ball so you benefit from smoke free legislations and school lunch regulations created by our advocacy work. Your loved ones will receive top-level health care because our Get With The Guidelines initiative promotes consistent quality improvement in hospitals.We use your dollars to fund basic and clinical science helping people in your area find new ways to keep you and your loved ones healthy and free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Tell us about some of the ground-breaking research that the American Heart Association is doing. (One Brave Idea and Strategically Focused Research Networks)

Over the years the AHA has funded the science of such things CPR, AEDs, pacemakers, drug coated stents, and artificial heart valves and 13 Noble Peace Prize winners and our science often leading the way in cardiovascular science and care. We are currently doing a lot of work with precision medicine to determine how to set each patient up for the best outcome. We recently joined with AstraZeneca and Verily to award one $75 million grant that is focused on ground breaking science that can identify what triggers CHD long before symptoms and fatal events occur.

Here is a synopsis of a new multiyear $3.7 million grant at Duke University focused on obesity in children. As the article says, this AHA-funded clinical trial will enroll 350 youngsters and will be the most comprehensive study to date on the program's impact on weight, physical fitness, quality of life, family engagement and more. We are very excited about the implications of this grant and are proud to have it here in the Triangle.

While research is the foundation of the work of the AHA, our Get with the Guidelines are also saving and improving lives. These guidelines around such things as Stroke, Heart Failure and Afib have been established because we know that when medical professionals apply the most up to date, evidence based guidelines, patient outcomes improve. From the first 911 call to patient discharge, we want patients to receive the best possible care in the quickest amount of time. US News and World Report publishes the list of US hospitals recognition each year and we are currently taking Get with the Guidelines internationally. The leading voice in this conversation is Dr. Sid Smith who is the past president of the American Heart Association and is based out of UNC at Chapel Hill.

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When it comes to advances in heart disease research what are you most encouraged by? How much progress have we made?

There are countless examples of progress, but I know we are all so concerned with the tiniest hearts. I am encouraged by the focus on awareness and efforts to prevent congenital heart defect (CHD). One local family shared their story at the Triangle Heart Ball in 2016. Their son, Jack Acton, was born 6 years ago with a CHD. Had he been born a decade earlier, he likely would not have lived.

Through a collaboration with The Children’s Heart Foundation, we established the Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards to initially fund $2.5 million in congenital heart defect research grants through 2016. We have since earmarked an additional $20 million for congenital heart defect research through 2021.

Though the incident rate of congenital heart defects has not decreased over time, more infants with congenital heart defects survive to adulthood thanks to advancements made through research. Collaborations like the one between the American Heart Association and The Children’s Heart Foundation are vital to the continuation of these advancements. We have also been successful in legislation such that now requires Pulse Oximetry testing for newborns; this easy and noninvasive test can give early warning signs of congenital heart defects. “Our Little Hats. Big Hearts.” program also raises awareness and educates parents on warning signs.

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What is the Healthy for Good initiative and what is it trying to accomplish?

Healthy for Good is a movement to inspire you to create lasting change in your health and your life, one small step at a time. The approach is simple: Eat smart. Add color. Move more. Be well. The best way to change the course of cardiovascular disease is to prevent the cardiovascular event from ever happening. Healthy for Good is all about lifestyle changes.

What are the most important facts about heart disease that you want people to know?

Today heart attack and stroke victims can benefit from new medications and treatments unavailable to patients in years past. For example, clot-busting drugs can stop some heart attacks and strokes in progress, reducing disability and saving lives. But to be effective, these drugs must be given relatively quickly after heart attack or stroke symptoms first appear. Heart attack and stroke are life-and-death emergencies — every second counts.

Immediately call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. The common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. Women may also experience other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. Calling 9-1-1 results in the fastest treatment and best outcome.

You can spot a stroke F.A.S.T. using the following guide:

Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

And of course, we want them to know that companies such as PRA Health Science make all this possible. And we thank you whole heartedly!