A PROGRAM TO IMPROVE OUTCOMES for heart-attack and stroke patients that was developed by UCLA cardiologist Gregg Fonarow, M.D., is among the American Heart Association’s top-10 research advances for 2008 and has been used as a model nationwide.
The AHA Get With The Guidelines program that is now being used by hospitals around the country is based in part on Dr. Fonarow’s CHAMP (Cardiovascular Hospitalization Atherosclerosis Management Program), which was the first hospital-based program of its kind in the country.
Under the program, patients are started immediately on cholesterol- lowering drugs and other cardio-protective medications and are given dietary and lifestyle counseling while in the hospital. By implementing this program, UCLA has cut repeat heart attacks and one-year mortality rates by half. The AHA took the program nationwide, and the Get With The Guidelines program has been expanded to include a module for stroke. Studies have shown that these programs are associated with improved hospital outcomes.