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How do we create messages that are accurate, understandable, and culturally competent?

Supporting NHLBI's heart health education and research information dissemination

Heart disease and stroke are among the leading causes of death in the United States. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI’s) Office of Science Policy, Engagement, Education, and Communications must break through the clutter of health information people receive with evidence-based health education programs that engage stakeholders and deliver messages that are accurate, understandable, and culturally competent.

Westat is working with NHLBI to:

  • Provide NHLBI guidance and a framework to guide the development of the Institute’s health education programs on a range of topics
  • Assess existing program efforts, messaging, and communication strategies and recommend a process for updating and/or expanding based on research, trends, and best practices
  • Identify and engage key stakeholders and partners that can be called upon to amplify messaging and/or share resources
  • Provide resources and support to community health workers to increase heart health education at the local level

Westat developed The Healthy Hearts Network of national partner organizations to help NHLBI amplify the reach and impact of heart health messages and programming. To date, we’ve helped NHLBI recruit 40+ partners as part of the Network.

We launched a creative and engaging campaign for American Heart Month called #OurHearts are Healthier Together that has resonated with the public, health advocates, and partners to encourage people to join together to be heart healthy. For 4 consecutive years, NHLBI has selected the campaign as its theme for American Heart Month. In 2021 the campaign garnered 92 million+ impressions on Twitter.

Westat used research with key target audiences to update and expand NHLBI’s seminal heart health education program, The Heart Truth̶®. We are currently exploring young women’s declining awareness of heart disease and how The Heart Truth can develop programming that fits their needs.

Westat launched The Heart Truth Community Subcontract Program to support organizations in executing projects that will reduce the burden of heart disease and encourage healthy behavior change to improve heart health.

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