The American College of Cardiology recently hosted a Summit for providers in leadership positions to share information to improve their practice. PCHA was privileged to join Sisters By Heart in the opportunity to help educate these same amazing providers about building stronger relationships with their patients and parents through transparency and empathy. We experienced an incredibly positive response to the patient education tool we are developing called “Suggested Questions.” This tool, being designed collaboratively with patients and doctors, not only will empower patients by providing them with questions to ask their medical team that they may never have thought of, but in turn is educating the doctors about what parents need to know about the journey they are on. This tool is still in draft stage and will be available for public comment in the next few weeks!
Through Collaboration – we will Conquer CHD.
We are thrilled that we have succeeded in bringing together some of the greatest medical professionals in the field to serve on our medical advisory board. These dedicated folks meet monthly, providing insight, direction and expertise to support the programming of PCHA. We are so grateful!!
Brad Marino, MD, MPP, MSCE – Lurie Children’s Hospital
Amy Basken, MS – Pediatric Congenital Heart Association
Jonathan Byrnes, MD – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Michelle Gurvitz, MD – Boston Children’s Hospital
Dunbar Ivy, MD – Children’s Hospital Colorado
Jeffrey P. Jacobs, MD – All Children’s Hospital
Kathy Jenkins, MD, MPH – Boston Children’s Hospital
Regina Lantin, MD – Texas Children’s Hospital
William T. Mahle, MD – Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Matt Oster, MD, MPH – Children’s Health Care of Atlanta
Sara Pasquali, MD – C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital
Julie Slicker, MS, RD, CSP, CD, CNSD – Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
James Tweddell, MD – Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
Birth defects are common, costly and critical. Every 4½ minutes, a baby is born with a major birth defect. Professionals, community groups and the public can act to reduce the risk of certain birth defects, detect those that occur as soon as possible and prevent secondary complications.
Heart defects are the most common birth defect and leading cause of birth defect related infant death. While, most heart defects are not preventable, we encourage women to make a PACT for their own health and the family they may have one day. All women, including teens, can lower their risk of having a baby born with a birth defect by following some basic health guidelines throughout their reproductive years.
- Get as healthy as you can before you get pregnant
- Get 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day
Avoid harmful substances
- Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking
- Be careful with harmful exposures at work and home
Choose a healthy lifestyle
- Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, lean proteins, and healthy fats and oils
- Be physically active
- Work to get medical conditions like diabetes under control
Talk to your doctor
- Get a medical checkup
- Discuss all medications, both prescription and over-the-counter
- Talk about your family history
Women and their loved ones can participate in their PACT and take these important preventive steps that can lead to a reduction in the number of birth defects.