Maryland Million Hearts Resources & Tools

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Submission Date: December 2014

Entry Type: Case Study

State/Territory Submitted on the Behalf of: Maryland

States/Territories Involved: Maryland

CDC Funding:


Domain Addressed:

Environmental Approaches, Health Systems Strategies

Public Health Issue:

Heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death in Maryland, respectively, accounting for approximately 30% of all deaths in Maryland. In Maryland more men die from heart disease than women and the age-adjusted heart disease death rate for African American is 1.3 times higher than the rate for Caucasian.

Project Objectives:

  • To support implementation of Maryland Million Hearts five core components (improved clinical care, tobacco control, workplace wellness, promoting healthy diet, and local public health action) through the creation of tools and resources.

Program Action:

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) is currently one of the few state agencies to officially partner with the Million Hearts™ Initiative, a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. over 5 years. The Maryland Million Hearts Initiative builds on existing state initiatives by working with partners across many sectors to improve cardiovascular health in the state. Resources and tools developed to support the effort include:

  • Implementation Guidance for Maryland’s Million Hearts™ Initiative –this guide describes strategies, potential partners, resources, and metrics, and provides links to information on implementing Maryland Million Hearts-related activities.
  • Maryland Million Hearts newsletter—this electronic newsletter provides updates on research, resources, webinars, and events related to Million Hearts objectives.
  • Maryland Million Hearts website—the website at provides a method for keeping partners informed and supplying accessible links to useful resources
  • Million Hearts Symposium—an annual event since February 2013, the symposium is co-hosted by DHMH and the Delmarva Foundation, Maryland’s quality improvement organization. Attendance is high and sessions are scheduled in ‘tracks’ focused on various implementation settings, such as health care, community, worksites, schools and child care. Regular email communications with participants keep the conversation going. View the 2014 Symposium presentations at:
  • Hypertension Fact Sheet—this publication provides graphical representations of state-level data on hypertension and heart disease, including health benefit plan performance on blood pressure control.

Data/Other Information Collected:

The Million Hearts Symposium evaluation survey collected information on attendance by organization type and by breakout session and a tally of what attendees reported learning about – at:


  • The Maryland Million Hearts newsletter is distributed monthly to over 450 partners in the Maryland Million Hearts network
  • The Million Hearts Symposium reaches approximate 400 participants from a variety of settings

Challenges/Lessons Learned:

  • Clearly communicate goals.
  • Clearly define performance indicators and specific deliverables in all contracts and other communications to prevent “scope creep” and ensure all partners are on the same page. Buy-in and commitment to project goals will be increased if the expectations and goals are reasonable and achievable.
  • Focus Quality Improvement (QI) efforts on just one or two specific interventions and clearly communicate those goals to all the necessary team members and stakeholders. Maintain a clear, consistent focus on these goals to help direct resources and energy in the most efficient way. Models such as PDSA cycles and learning collaboratives can help support this focus.

Next Steps:

  • Continued collaboration with multi-sector partners to maintain an up to date inventory of  resources for cardiovascular disease prevention and management available statewide

Program Areas:

Heart Disease and Stroke

State Contact Information:

Adelline Ntatin, MPH, MBIM, MA, Program Administrator
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

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