Education and Awareness
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) develops health education and awareness programs to effect positive change in public health. These initiatives focus on implementing national programs to help lower the risk for and consequences of heart, lung, blood, and sleep diseases and disorders.We develop these educational programs by first synthesizing accepted scientific findings. We then use our knowledge of adult learning theory, sound behavior change, and social marketing to design informational materials that not only effectively inform our audience but also enable them to make healthy changes to their behavior. Moreover, the NHLBI partners with private-sector organizations and other Government agencies to amplify critical public health messages.
Aim for a Healthy Weight provides science-based weight control information for patients, the public, and health professionals. Resources include healthy eating plans, menu planners, recipes, a BMI (body mass index) calculator, and physical activity tips.
The Community Health Worker Health Disparities Initiative aims to address health disparities by partnering with organizations in underserved and minority communities. In collaboration with these organizations, we assist community health workers (CHWs) and other health educators in teaching the members of their communities about heart health and strategies to make heart-healthy behavior changes.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the United States and, if not treated, can cause serious long-term disability. In 2007, the NHLBI, along with leading professional societies, health organizations, and advocacy groups, launched the COPD Learn More Breathe Better® (LMBB) campaign to raise awareness and educate the public about COPD, particularly those at risk for the disease, those who have the disease, and health care providers.
The COPD National Action Plan is the first-ever blueprint for a multi-faceted, unified fight against the disease. Developed at the request of Congress with input from the broad COPD community, it provides a comprehensive framework for action by those affected by the disease and those who care about reducing its burden.
The Heart Truth® is a national education program for women that raises awareness about heart disease and its risk factors and educates and motivates them to take action to prevent the disease. Through the program, launched in 2002, the NHLBI leads the Nation in a landmark heart health movement embraced by millions who share the goal of better heart health for all women. The centerpiece of The Heart Truth is the Red Dress®, a national symbol for women and heart disease awareness that was created by the NHLBI and introduced in 2002. The Red Dress serves as a powerful source of inspiration for women to learn more about their personal risk for heart disease and take action to protect their heart health.
One in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 has peripheral arterial disease or P.A.D. It develops when arteries in your legs become clogged with plaque. Clogged arteries in the legs mean you are at risk for having a heart attack or stroke. To raise awareness about P.A.D., the NHLBI, in cooperation with the P.A.D. Coalition, sponsored the Stay in Circulation: Take Steps to Learn About P.A.D. campaign.
September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. First officially recognized by the federal government in 1983, National Sickle Cell Awareness Month calls attention to sickle cell disease (SCD), a genetic disease that researchers estimate affects between 90,000 and 100,000 Americans. During the month of September, the NHLBI carries out awareness activities to inform the public about the disease, providing information on sickle cell disease and details about ongoing clinical trials, recent research findings, and treatment options. Throughout the year, the NHLBI engages with SCD-interested organizations and stakeholders to further promote awareness of SCD, educate the public, and disseminate the latest SCD research findings. We also partner with these organizations to develop more effective treatments and care of SCD patients, with the ultimate goal of curing people with SCD.
We Can!® (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity and Nutrition) is a national science-based education program designed to give parents, caregivers, and entire communities the tips, tools, and strategies they need to help children maintain a healthy weight. The program focuses on three important behaviors: improving food choices, increasing physical activity, and reducing screen time.