September 16, 2008
The Larry King Cardiac Foundation Partners With Rush University Medical Center to Provide Heart Care for the Underserved
The Larry King Cardiac Foundation and Rush University Medical Center have joined forces to provide life-saving cardiac care for patients who have no insurance or limited means. The goal is to bring critical care to people who have run out of options.
Cardiologists and heart surgeons at Rush will donate their time and perform surgeries at no cost to the patient. The Larry King Cardiac Foundation provides funding to compensate the hospital for the materials used.
"On the heels of the Foundation's 20th anniversary, I'm excited to announce our partnership with Rush University Medical Center," said Larry King, Jr., president of the Larry King Cardiac Foundation. "Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and too many people who suffer from cardiac conditions are without insurance. Our goal is to save one heart a day and through our partnership with Rush, hearts will be repaired, lives will be saved, and we'll be one step closer to reaching our goal."
In addition to providing free care, Rush will work with the Foundation's Health Across America campaign to raise awareness about heart disease and provide testing to those who would not normally have access to this support. Addressing risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet and smoking greatly reduces risk for illness and death from heart disease.
On Monday, September 22nd Rush will host a symposium on "Sudden Cardiac Arrest: Warning Signs, Detection and Prevention" featuring a panel of America's most distinguished physician thought leaders. The symposium, and a free cardiovascular disease screening offered to the public, is supported by Medtronic Inc., Life Line Screening and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.
The symposium is an invitation only event that will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Room 500 of the Rush Professional Building. It will be moderated by Larry King and includes panelists: Dr. Bradley F. Bale, clinician and founder of the Heart Attack Prevention Clinic in Spokane, Washington; Dr. Elizabeth G. Nabel, director of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute; Dr. J. James Rohack, president-elect of the American Medical Association; Dr. H. Robert Superko, executive director of the Center for Genomics & Human Health at St. Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta; and Dr. Annabelle Volgman, medical director of the Heart Center for Women at Rush University Medical Center. The special guest will be James M.P. Clarke, president of the 2 BigHearts Foundation. Clarke founded 2 BigHearts in memory of his late wife Gigi and sister-in-law Sally, who at the ages of 44 and 49 respectively, lost their lives to heart disease on the same day.
The free preventive heart screening and education event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in room 994 of the Rush Armour Academic Center, 600 S. Paulina, Chicago. The screening will include tests for blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, body mass index (BMI), and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT). Participants will receive on-the-spot screening results and a personal consultation to discuss results with a health care provider. Appointments are required. Call Rush physician referral services at (888) 352-RUSH to register or for more information.
"Since screening, intervention, and treatment services for these risk factors are often beyond the reach of minority and low-income populations, these populations have a disproportionate burden of death and disability from cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Annabelle Volgman, medical director of the Rush Heart Center for Women.
Rush joins 10 other premier cardiac centers in the country that have been selected to partner with The Larry King Cardiac Foundation. The prominent care centers affiliated with The Larry King Cardiac Foundation include: Children's National Medical Center and George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California; New York Presbyterian: The University Hospital of Columbia and Weill Cornell University Medical Center in New York, New York; St. Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia; Covenant Health System in Lubbock, Texas, and The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. The Foundation also works in conjunction with Venice Family Clinic in Venice, California.
The Foundation has also developed partnerships with Cordis Corporation, Medtronic Inc., St. Jude Medical Inc., and Edwards Lifesciences Corporation to provide patients with critical cardiac devices and procedures free of charge to those in need.
Larry King, the Emmy Award-winning host, established The Larry King Cardiac Foundation in 1988 following his own successful quintuple bypass heart surgery. The Foundation provides funding for life-saving cardiac treatment for individuals who, due to limited means or no insurance, would be unable to receive the treatment and care they so desperately need. The Foundation is a non-profit organization funded by grants, corporate and individual donations as well as proceeds from Mr. King's books, speaking engagements, and from entertainment galas. It has embraced an ambitious goal, which is to "Save a Heart a Day."
For more information visit www.lkcf.org.
About Rush University Medical Center
Named as one of the top heart programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and Thomson Healthcare, Rush University Medical Center is a national leader in cardiac care. Working in state-of-the-art facilities, using some of the world's most sophisticated technology, the experts at Rush are on the leading edge of diagnosis, treatment and discovery. From preventive measures to heart transplantation, Rush is helping to revolutionize heart care. Consistent with Rush's commitment to put the patient first, the University HealthSystem Consortium, an alliance of approximately 100 academic medical centers, awarded Rush the highest score possible, 100 percent, for equity of care and has consistently ranked Rush among the top tier of its member institutions. For more information, please visit www.rush.edu/university/heart.
About The Larry King Cardiac Foundation
The Larry King Cardiac Foundation provides funding for life-saving cardiac procedures for individuals who, due to limited means or no insurance, otherwise would be unable to receive life-saving treatment. The Foundation works in conjunction with major medical centers throughout the nation to ensure that such patients receive much-needed medical attention. For more information, please visit www.lkcf.org.