Last year the CCCF have instituted a granting process whereby we asked the hospitals that we have supported in the past to submit project proposals that would positively affect the people and the community that they serve. The Medical Advisory Committee and CCCF Board evaluated the proposals and donated grants in the range of $25,000 to $30,000 to implement these hospital initiatives.
The response to our request for project proposals was overwhelming and the Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) selected six small projects from four hospitals. Coincidentally, all the selected projects were in the area of cardiology, so we sought the expertise of Dr. George Rewa. A local cardiologist and also one of our consultants, Dr. Rewa reviewed and prioritized the projects and we followed his advice on how we funded each project. The successful projects are being funded at hospitals in Ivankiv, (which lies only 17 km from the forbidden Chornobyl zone), in Zbarazh, Ternopil and Halych in western Ukraine. Each of these projects involves both the purchase of specific equipment and an educational component. Moving forward our involvement will consist of monitoring for continuity and ongoing effectiveness of these projects and we will provide a report after the successful completion of each project.
The projects we selected to support, including a large blood pressure monitoring study in Ivankiv, stress that public health initiatives such as a healthy lifestyle, no smoking and no alcohol abuse are very important. The major portion of the responsibility for the prevention or improvement of an acquired disease is in the hands of the individual patient. This idea is reflected in the selected project at the Ternopil Urgent Clinic which will study screening methods for heart attacks. The purchased equipment of an EKG and echocardiogram for this hospital is relevant to improving diagnostic possibilities and it is hoped that this will lead to better treatment decisions and translate to fewer deaths.
The Halych project aims to decrease deaths from cardiac disease through early diagnosis and monitoring of at-risk patients (e.g. those over age 40 with hypertension). They provided statistics that show that in their population high blood pressure affects 31% adults and 52.2% elderly, and ischemic heart disease is seen in 20% adults and 41% elderly.
By funding these projects, the intent of CCCF and MAC is to work with the hospitals and to gather evidence-based outcome data from their screening methods, diagnosis and treatment of individuals at risk for cardiac disease. This will ultimately enable us to compare results from the 4 institutions we support, and will provide information on methods to improve the cardiovascular health of the citizens of these communities.