<p><img src="//relias.innocraft.cloud/piwik.php?idsite=2&amp;rec=1" style="border:0;" alt=""> February is All About the Heart
By | January 31, 2018

While February brings to mind flowers and candy for Valentine’s Day, healthcare professionals know there is a bigger focus. During American Heart Month, we shine the spotlight on heart health. The burdens and risk factors of heart disease remain alarmingly high.


Heart Disease By the Numbers

Heart Disease (including Coronary Heart Disease, Hypertension, and Stroke) remains to be the number 1 cause of death in the United States and poses a significant threat to millions of others, according to the American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update 2017.


  • Approximately every 40 seconds, an American will have a heart attack.
  • Someone in the US has a stroke about once every 40 seconds.
  • About 92.1 million American adults are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke.


  • In the US, cardiovascular disease, listed as the underlying cause of death, accounts for nearly 801,000 deaths – that’s about 1 of every 3 deaths.
  • Globally, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, accounting for more than 17.3 million deaths per year in 2013, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030.


  • Estimated $316 billion direct and indirect costs of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, that includes both health expenditures and lost productivity.
  • Heart attacks ($11.5 billion) and Coronary Heart Disease ($10.4 billion) were 2 of the 10 most expensive hospital principal discharge diagnoses.


“Life’s Simple 7”

The American Heart Association determines the cardiovascular health of a nation by looking at 7 key health factors and behaviors that may increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association hopes to measure and track these 7 key factors to achieve the 2020 Impact Goal: to improve cardiovascular health of Americans by 20 percent and reduce the number of deaths attributed to cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent, by the year 2020.

The Life’s Simple 7 are:

  1. Smoking Cessation
  2. Physical Activity
  3. Healthy Diet
  4. Body Weight
  5. Cholesterol Control
  6. Blood Pressure
  7. Blood Sugar


Tools to Help Make a Difference

The good news is healthcare professionals now have more tools than ever to help make a difference in awareness, management, and treatment for heart health.

The American Heart Association provides resources for professionals to use directly as well as information that can be shared with patients for their own use. The AHA website for professionals provides the latest news and links to research, plus an extensive listing of resources by topic. The organization also offers sites such as My Life Check that can be recommended to your patients for their ongoing learning and management of their heart health.

Healthcare professionals also need to stay on top of ongoing heart health education.

Relias is pleased to partner with the American Heart Association to provide certification and training courses online through the Relias Learning Management System. These courses offer a quick and easy way to consolidate online training needs. Students of these courses learn cognitive skills through web-based, self-paced modules featuring interactive question/answer and video segments to reinforce learning.

Our library of American Heart Association Training includes the following:

Courses for Healthcare Professionals

  • Blended Learning Courses
    • Heartsaver® Basic Life Support (BLS)
    • Heartsaver® Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS)
    • Heartsaver® Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
  • eLearning-Only Courses
    • Acute Stroke Online
    • Learn:® Rapid STEMI ID
    • Learn:® Rhythm Adult
    • Learn:® Rhythm Pediatric

Courses for Non-Clinical Staff

  • Blended Learning Courses
    • Heartsaver® First Aid
    • Heartsaver® CPR AED
    • Heartsaver® First Aid CPR AED
    • Heartsaver® Pediatric First Aid CPR AED
  • eLearning-Only Courses
    • Heartsaver® Bloodborne Pathogens


If you have any questions about these American Heart Association courses offered through Relias, please visit our American Heart Association Training page.

Rebecca Smallwood, RN, MBA

As a registered nurse for more than 27 years, Rebecca has experience across a wide spectrum of settings, including: rural and urban hospitals in medical/surgical, and ED clinical roles; school nursing; public health epidemiology; ambulatory surgery center; infection control; quality management; organizational development; and education in hospital, academic, and commercial organizations. She has authored a myriad of live and web-based courses on over 50 regulatory topics, patient safety, patient experience, and others. Her passion for education developed over the course of her career while helping patients, professionals, and organizations leverage learning to achieve their goals. Improving patient care by helping others gain new knowledge, skills, and attitudes is her mission and the driving force behind her work.


to find out more about our training and resources