Stronger Hearts™ Helpline

The Stronger Hearts™ Helpline is a free, bilingual (Spanish) heart failure support service that is available to people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It provides people who have heart failure and their families/caregivers access to community resources that can help them better understand and manage the disease.  

Stronger Hearts™ Helpline offerings include:

  • Assistance finding heart failure professionals and clinics.
  • Additional information about heart failure and its treatment.
  • Help with arranging non-emergency needs, like transportation to a doctor’s appointment, delivery of prescription medications, and finding exercise programs, nutrition information, and mental health programs.

Approximately 5.1 million Americans live with heart failure. This disease is often hard to understand and even harder to manage for many patients and their caregivers. This is a major problem for the U.S. and its seniors as:

  • Approximately 14% of Medicare patients are being treated for heart failure – that’s about 1 in 5 seniors.
  • Heart failure treatment accounts for more than $30.7 billion annually nationwide.
  • About 50% of people diagnosed with heart failure die within five years of diagnosis.

Stronger Hearts Helpline Diagram

Evaluating the Stronger Hearts Helpline

The Claremont Evaluation Center (CEC) at Claremont Graduate University collaborated with the National Forum to evaluate the Stronger Hearts™ Helpline pilot. The 18-month, multi-phase evaluation included:

  • evaluate helpline components (e.g., availability and quality of existing services and role of incentives),
  • evaluate helpline outcomes (e.g., quality of life, number of CHF patient admissions and readmissions, costs associated with those admissions, and length of stay) and,
  • map the helpline’s role in building a Culture of Health, with a focus on its current contributions and potential leverage points.

Best Practices Award Program

Inaugural Stronger Hearts™ Best Practices Awardees recognized for community-based programs addressing heart failure patients

Steering Committee

The National Forum for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention wanted to do something about heart failure.  That’s why we convened a Steering Committee in November of 2013 to develop a plan of action. After months of research, meetings and deliberation, these experts created the Stronger Hearts™ Helpline concept. The Stronger Hearts Helpline Steering Committee includes a broad range of experts from leading hospitals, CMS, nursing groups, not-for-profits, VA, corporate groups, public relations, and other areas. Members include:

Clyde W. Yancy, MD, FACC, FAHA, MACP (Chair)

Inder Anand, MD, FACC, FRCP, DPhil

Javed Butler, MD, MPH

Keith Ferdinand, MD, FACC, FAHA, FASH

Gregg Fonarow, MD, FACC, FAHA

Laura Gordon

David Kountz, MD, MBA, FACP

Steven Manoukian, MD, FACC, FSCAI

David Nilasena, MD, MSPH, MS

Sara Paul, DNP, FNP, FAHA

Jerry Penso, MD, MBA

Ileana Piña, MD, MPH

Gary Puckrein, PhD

Rhodes Rigsby, MD, MBA

Joanna Sikkema, DNP, ANP-BC, FAHA  

Frank Smart, MD, FACC, FACP

Funding for this initiative provided by: