On Saturday, Sept. 17, members of the community, local organizations and Mobile-area health care providers partnered to raise awareness of heart failure and its disproportionate effect on African Americans in comparison to their counterparts. The community event, hosted by Saint Peter Missionary Baptist Church as a part of the Live To The Beat campaign, was held to empower African-Americans in Mobile to reduce the impact of heart failure and protect their heart health.

Heart failure is a serious condition that develops over time as the heart loses its ability to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. While reducing risk factors is key to preventing heart failure, research shows that African-Americans carry a higher risk for developing heart failure than other racial and ethnic groups.

Live To The Beat Mobile, sponsored by Arbor Pharmaceuticals, LLC, featured a panel discussion moderated by Kym Thurman, anchorwoman at NBC-affiliate WPMI Local 15, and a presentation addressing heart failure and how physiological differences, prevalence and mortality uniquely affect the African-American population. In addition to the educational presentation, participants began putting strategies into practice to manage and help prevent heart failure. This included small group discussions around promoting heart health, a heart-healthy food tasting and personal pledges to “Live To The Beat” by taking at least one action to change the course of heart failure. More than 80 people participated in the event, where they received heart failure resources and submitted their pledges to “Live To The Beat” on LiveToTheBeat.com via mobile iPad stations.

“As a member of the Mobile community, I believe raising awareness of heart failure and taking collective accountability is a critical step to reversing the condition’s impact,” Thurman said. “I am encouraged by the Live To The Beat initiative, which shows firsthand how knowledge, support and actionable dialogue can catalyze us to take active roles in fighting heart failure.”

Other panelists at Live To The Beat Mobile included Elise Split, nurse practitioner at Infirmary Health System; Dr. Dedra Reed, nurse practitioner at Franklin Primary Health Center and a member of H.E.A.P., the Saint Peter Missionary Baptist Church health ministry; Louise Turner, family nurse practitioner in the house calls division at UnitedHealth Group, and a member of the Nurse Practitioner Alliance of Alabama and the Mobile Bay Black Nurses Association; Dr. Tochie Lofton, nurse manager of the cardiac unit at Infirmary Health System; and Martha Johnson, a community member with heart failure. Opera Patterson, a local patient with heart failure, also shared her personal experience with the condition. During the panel, the group discussed their connections to heart failure, as well as perspectives on uniting the Mobile community to combat the issue locally. In Baldwin and Mobile counties, heart failure hospitalization rates for those 65 and older were higher for blacks than for whites according to data from 2011 to 2013 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Live To The Beat Mobile event was the second of its kind focused on heart failure in African Americans in Alabama. According to data from the CDC, Alabama had one of the highest heart failure in African-Americans in Alabama. According to data from the CDC, Alabama had one of the highest heart failure mortality rates in the U.S. among blacks of all ages from 2011 to 2013. The Live To The Beat campaign held an event in Montgomery in August as part of its effort to reduce the impact of heart failure.

“The effects of heart failure in this community are too significant to be ignored,” said Split. “For an issue of this magnitude, it is important that a collaborative effort between our care providers, residents and community leaders continues in order to address the problem. I’m proud to join the Live To The Beat initiative and commit to changing the health outcomes of the community we call home.”

To learn more about heart failure, visit LiveToTheBeat.com for resources for healthy living and information on the condition.

About Arbor Pharmaceuticals
Arbor Pharmaceuticals, LLC, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is a specialty pharmaceutical company currently focused on the cardiovascular, hospital, neurology and pediatric markets. The company has over 700 employees. Arbor currently markets over 20 NDA or ANDA approved products with over 35 more in development.
For more information regarding Arbor Pharmaceuticals or any of its products, visit www.arborpharma.com or send email inquiries to info@arborpharma.com.