CONCERNS: Tamworth GP David Lockart will be at the symposium to tackle the city's poor health. Photos: Peter Hardin.

CONCERNS: Tamworth GP David Lockart will be at the symposium to tackle the city's poor health. Photos: Peter Hardin.

Winning hearts and minds

Heart Foundation launches new heart health ambassador program

Health
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Heart health ambassadors will help identify people at risk of heart disease in an attempt to prevent more deaths.

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A program previously implemented on a broad scale is being applied to a specific regional health problem with surgical precision, paving the way for other towns and cities to take advantage of this targeted approach to heart care.

Tamworth could be seen as ground zero for heart disease in NSW, so it's little wonder the Heart Foundation hand-picked the city as the first site in the state to host its professional ambassador program.

The scheme will train local professionals to help manage heart disease within the region.

Through the Heart Foundation's ambassador program, the region's chosen doctors will get access to the "latest evidence and advances in practice for patients living with or at risk of heart disease".

The foundation's NSW heart health manager Scott Walsberger said Tamworth had been chosen for the program because of the city's "much higher rates of death from heart disease".

He said the foundation would choose the ambassadors for the region mainly from general practice, Aboriginal health services and potentially physiotherapy.

The ambassadors would be trained to help identify people at risk, manage and reduce heart disease in the region.

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Initial plans have the scheme running in Tamworth through 2020, but Mr Walsberger said, depending on the need of the community, it could be extended.

Heart health is front of mind for the region's health corps presently with the Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network hosting a first-of-its-kind symposium for local medicos.

The 2000 hearts conference will feature presentations from leaders in general practice, nursing and cardiology. The health network has set a lofty outcome from the event: to help delay and prevent at least 2000 cardiovascular disease related deaths in the region.

The story Winning hearts and minds first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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