Wake Forest Baptist Hypertension & Vascular Disease Center Recognized for Public Outreach

April 5, 2004

The Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has received praise from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) for its highly-successful Stroke Education and Awareness among Minorities (STREAM) program.

STREAM is an Enhanced Dissemination and Utilization Center (EDUC) project under the direction of Carlos M. Ferrario, M.D., director of the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center. The project is designed to educate minorities in Davie, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin counties in stroke risk and prevention. During the first year of the program adults 18 and older in the region were screened for the risk of stroke:

15 free community-based, hypertension and/or cholesterol screenings conducted
708 individuals of the community screened for hypertension
110 individuals of the surrounding community screened for cholesterol
47 individuals screened for glucose (diabetes) and body mass index (obesity)

Some of the results of the screenings:

Blood Pressure (BP) values according to category
Normal (BP less than 120/80mmHg) - 21% of those screened
Pre-hypertension (120/80-139/89mmHg) -32%
Hypertension (140/90 mmHg or greater) - 47%

Total Cholesterol

Desirable < 200mg/dL - 49% of those screened
Borderline High 200-239 mg/dL - 33%
High cholesterol 240+ or higher - 18%


Normal (70-109) - 47%
Impaired glucose tolerance (110-125) - 23%
Abnormal (>126) - 30%

Body Mass Index

Normal weight - 10%
Overweight - 34.7%
Obese - 55%

Felicia Russell, M.P.H., C.H.E.S., is EDUC project manager at Wake Forest Baptist. Ferrario praised Russell for her role in the STREAM project.

"The award recognizes the personal efforts of Ms. Russell in advancing the objectives of our community initiative and also underlines the value of the educational program sponsored by the Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center that focuses on reducing the risk of stroke and its long-term debilitating effects in the African-American population of our region," said Ferrario.

The STREAM program was awarded a bonus incentive, a $7,800 one time disbursement of additional funding above the original $450,000 award by the NHLBI.

Stroke is a major cause of death in African-Americans. The STREAM project stresses good control of blood pressure and weight and avoidance of risk factors such as smoking, obesity and lack of exercise as a means of reducing the chance of stroke. The STREAM project consists of five components:

STREAM is funded through a three-year grant from the NHLBI. Heart disease and stroke are the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. However, certain geographic areas, such as the Piedmont region of the state, and racial/minority groups are disproportionately affected.

Wake Forest Baptist is one of only 12 Enhanced Dissemination and Utilization Centers in the country. The NHLBI established the network of community-based organizations in 2001 to implement focused heart-health education strategies in high-risk communities.

In 1994, Ferrario established the Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control (COSEHC), a professional organization of physicians, scientists and health care providers working together to reduce the incidence of high blood pressure and hypertension-related cardiovascular disease outcomes (heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and heart failure) in the southeastern region of the United States. The COSEHC is headquartered at Wake Forest Baptist with centers located in 11 states including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia, Mississippi and Florida.


Media Contacts: Jim Steele, jsteele@wfubmc.edu, Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, or Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, at 336-716-4587.

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