Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Banner Imagery) - Go to home page

Health and Family Services Cabinet
Work Begins on New Initiative to Fight Heart Disease

Press Release Date:  Monday, August 27, 2007  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Beth Crace Fisher, (502) 564-6786  

CHFS Secretary Appoints Members to New Kentucky Cardiovascular Initiative Board

Health and Family Services Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell has appointed a group of government, business and health care leaders to the new Kentucky Cardiovascular Disease Initiative (KCDI) Board, established by House Bill 185.

The legislation, which the General Assembly approved in the 2007 session and Governor Fletcher signed into law in April, created the board that will focus on reducing the rate of heart disease in Kentucky and spurring growth in the medical business community by encouraging the development of new technology.

Board members represent extensive experience and knowledge in the area of cardiovascular disease, as well as the development of new technologies to help combat the disease and grow business in Kentucky.

“The Kentucky Cardiovascular Disease Initiative holds great potential to improve the health and well-being of our state, and gives us the opportunity to bring some of our commonwealth’s best minds together to improve technology to address heart disease,” said Birdwhistell. “Heart disease continues to take too many lives in Kentucky. We will work together to change that.”

Birdwhistell has appointed as chairman Ron Greenberg, executive director of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, a joint initiative from the University of Louisville, Jewish Hospital and St. Mary's Healthcare.

“Never before have we been able to bring so many talented minds to the table for early intervention and reduction of cardiovascular disease,” said Greenberg. “Governor Fletcher and the General Assembly have taken a positive step toward improving the health and well-being of our fellow Kentuckians and growing our economy. We are dedicated to achieving the mission of this initiative.”

The Kentucky Cardiovascular Disease Initiative is designed to improve the health and well-being of Kentuckians through heightened awareness, research and education efforts. In addition to establishing a board to guide the direction of the initiative, the measure also increases utilization of e-Health technology. The KCDI board will gather for its first meeting at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, in Room 125 of the Capitol Annex.

The comprehensive plan includes improved outreach, early identification, education and follow-up strategies for Kentuckians who suffer from or who are at risk for cardiovascular disease. The KCDI is designed as a mechanism to reach more Kentuckians who are at risk or already suffering from heart disease, putting health care providers in a better position to effectively treat patients. Ultimately, the measure should result in lower cost, higher quality health care.

In addition to the KCDI board meeting, the Heart Education and Advisory Research Team will meet at 10 a.m. on Aug. 29 in Room 125 of the Annex. The group, which is mainly composed of health care providers and experts, will discuss various topics related to improving cardiac medical procedures at the state’s health care facilities. 

KCDI Board members are:
· Senator Julie Denton - R-Louisville
· Senator Denise Harper-Angel - D-Louisville
· Representative Bob DeWeese - R-Louisville
· Representative Harry Moberly - D-Richmond
· Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell - Cabinet for Health and Family Services
· Dr. Larry Cook - designee for the president of the University of Louisville
· President Lee Todd - University of Kentucky
· Deborah Clayton - commissioner for Department for Commercialization and Innovation
· Dr. William D. Hacker – commissioner, Department for Public Health
· Julie McPeak - executive director, Department of Insurance
· Dr. Carol Steltenkamp - E-Health Network Board chair
· Dr. David Gale-Dean - College of Health Sciences at Eastern Kentucky University
· Dr. Jo Marshall - Kentucky Community and Technical College System
· Dr. Laman Gray - University of Louisville
· Dr. David Moliterno - University of Kentucky
· Joseph E. Smith - executive director, Kentucky Primary Care Association
· Dr. Beretta Casey – president, Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians
· Dr. Jamie Jacobs - member, Kentucky chapter of the American Heart Association
· David Bailey - government relations, St Luke Hospital
· Todd Bledsoe - manager of public affairs, Eli Lilly and Company
· Kimberly Maffet - associate vice president of workforce development, Norton Healthcare
· Bryan Sunderland - director of public affairs, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
· Todd Jones - vice president, Central Baptist Hospital
· Kristie Whitlatch - vice president, King’s Daughters’ Hospital
· Eugene Woods – chief executive officer of St. Joseph Healthcare
· Deborah Molnar – chief operating officer, Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Healthcare
· Mike Esposito - vice president for cardiac services, Norton Healthcare
· Ron Greenberg – KCDI chair
· Judith Piazza, at-large member appointed by Governor Ernie Fletcher, a former cardiovascular patient


Last Updated 8/27/2007