NPs and PAs in dermatology are encouraged to monitor their own cardiovascular health and support their peers.
World Heart Day is September 29th, and the Dermatology Education Foundation (DEF) and the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (SDPA) are partnering together to emphasize the importance of caregivers and health care professionals prioritizing their cardiovascular health. DEF and SDPA are encouraging nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) in dermatology to take control of their cardiovascular health, while supporting and encouraging their peers to do the same.1
“As nurse practitioners and physician assistants working in dermatology, our daily focus is on caring for the needs of our patients. Add in other responsibilities, such as administrative duties, caring for families and loved ones, and it’s easy to see how our own health may not be a priority. Cardiovascular disease is a comorbid condition to inflammatory diseases and dermatology conditions seen in our dermatology practices daily,” said Joe Gorelick, MSN, FNP-C, founder of the DEF, in the news release.
Laura Bush, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, and the president of the SDPA, added, “It’s ingrained in us as medical professionals to prioritize the health and well-being of others. We certainly have heart. But the reality is that we can’t optimize care for others when our own physical and mental health are compromised.”
According to the World Heart Federation, “World Heart Day (29 September) is an opportunity for everyone to stop and consider how best to use heart.” For World Heart Day, the World Heart Federation offers campaign support, a World Heart Day Challenge, the opportunity to create a “UseHeart" poster for social media, heart health tests, a heart-inspired Spotify playlist, and much more.2
With their collaboration, DEF and SDPA are encouraging health care providers to “not only to look after their own health, but to show some heart for colleagues who may be struggling with health challenges.” According to the news release, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) kill more than 20.5 million people each year, but 80% of premature deaths from CVD can be prevented. DEF and SDPA are urgingNPs and PAs to pay more attention to the signs of CVD and practice heart-healthy strategies at home and in the clinic.
“We are excited to collaborate with the DEF on this important initiative. Since our inception, SDPA has focused on supporting DermPAs. By collaborating with DEF, we strengthen our collective voice to connect with NPs through a foundation that shares a common mindset, one that is created by NPs and PAs for the benefit of NPs and PAs. This is one of many opportunities for our unique groups to work together,” said Bush.
Gorelick added, “NPs and PAs truly are at the heart of our organizations. Just as we encourage our colleagues to put their health needs first, we at DEF and SDPA--as individual organizations and in collaboration--will continue to put the needs of our peers first.”
DEF and SDPA encourage health care professionals to follow the following tips from the World Heart Federation:
Both DEF and SDPA are peer-led, allowing them to identify and effectively respond to the needs of PAs and NPs who care for dermatology patients.