Volunteers meeting at The Center for Healthy Hearts

The Center for Healthy Hearts is a partnership-based free health clinic that primarily serves an uninsured and underinsured population. It has been partnering with the Center for Pharmacy Practice Innovation since CPPI began in 2015. While the projects they’ve worked on together have changed over the years, the focus has been the same: developing models to provide care to patients through sustainable, interprofessional health care teams.

“Patients tend to fall in between various insurance plans, so the free clinic provides care through interprofessional models and works to prove effectiveness so they can bill for care,” said Evan Sisson, chairman for the board of directors at The Center for Healthy Hearts and CPPI core faculty member.

The center, founded in 1983, focuses on preventing premature death and disability resulting from strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure due to hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidemia. It was primarily pharmacist-run until about a year ago when they began adding nurse practitioners to their teams.

“We’re evolving our interprofessional model,” Sisson said. “Our vision for advancing pharmacy practice is not a pharmacist working alone in a silo; it’s truly as an integrated part of the medical team. You get better outcomes more consistently when you have a team than you do with any individual working by themselves.”

As their partnership continues, the two centers plan to keep using The Center for Healthy Hearts as a sort of “learning laboratory” for the health care teams and models they develop.

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