Heart disease is the biggest killer in our community and a disabling chronic condition affecting many of our people. Heart disease affects different people in different ways, limiting ability to work, impacting on family relationships, creating stress and anxiety, and reducing confidence and overall well being.
We know many heart events can be prevented by being smoke free, eating a healthy diet and taking part in regular exercise and medications such as statins and aspirin.
Over the last few years the cardiology team have worked hard to grow an evidenced-based solution to support people to better manage their recovery after a heart condition diagnosis.
This cardiac rehabilitation programme called the Healthy Heart programme in Counties Manukau is run by a multidisciplinary team of skilled health professionals including nurses, physiotherapists, cardiologists, health psychologists and cultural support team members. This has led to a significant improvement in the number of people who can find a programme to attend after a heart attack or heart surgery.
We have recently implemented a programme designed and run by the Pacific Health team in partnership with the cardiac group, and we also have a long established home-based programme run in partnership with Te Hononga O Tamaki Me Hoturoa, a local Maori NGO. These initiatives have significantly improved the access for Maori and Pacific to our programmes and are generating positive support.
The Healthy Heart programme aims to prevent further cardiovascular events by empowering people to initiate and maintain effective self-management including lifestyle changes which will improve quality of life and wellness and to facilitate the return to a full and active life.
We believe our programme fits with the 20,000 Days philosophy of giving our community back many days of good health and with the support of Ko Awatea, we hope to develop new models and partnerships in our community to halt the scourge of heart disease.
Cardiology Nurse Practitioner