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The Partnership to Advance Cardiovascular Health brought together patient advocates, health care providers and policy experts to discuss solutions to overcome the hurdles that keep cardiovascular patients from accessing the most appropriate care.

In case you missed it, here is a summary of the event in five quotes.  

1. “I had to uproot my life because of peripheral artery disease.” 

After undergoing multiple misdiagnoses and unnecessary surgeries, Ann Roy was forced to move from her hometown to where her son lived so family could provide more support. She was finally diagnosed with peripheral artery disease. Ann spoke to the importance of spreading awareness about the disease. 

2. “The letter didn’t explain why the medicine was denied.” 

At 32, Daniel LoDolce was diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolemia. Dan’s doctor prescribed a PCSK9 inhibitor to help lower his cholesterol, but his insurance company denied it. After advocating for himself and enduring a multi-step process outlined by his insurer, Dan was able to get the PCSK9. Now a patient advocate, Dan shares his story to promote patient access to life-saving medications. 

3. “If a patient is stable on their medication, no matter what their medication is, let them stay on it.” 

When Beth Waldron was diagnosed with thrombophilia, she worked diligently with her provider to find the best treatment for keeping her condition stable. After years of taking the same anticoagulant, Beth received a letter from CVS Caremark stating her medication was no longer covered and she was being switched to another medication. Beth’s advocacy not only resulted in her keeping access to the medication she was stable on, but she also helped persuade CVS Caremark to reverse its decision to remove all but one direct oral anticoagulant from its benefit plan. 

4. “I can’t get heart healthy until I’m mentally healthy.” 

Just after wrapping up a stressful work day that culminated with a live report on the evening news, Jennifer Donelan experienced a heart attack. After learning it was the result of a rare condition called spontaneous coronary artery dissection, she dedicated her life to educating women about the dangers of heart disease and the important role mental health plays in recovery.  

5. “We all need to go further and faster to ensure patients get access to the care they need.” 

Lisa Salberg started her journey to educate other patients based on her personal experience with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. She spoke about ways patients can partner with their providers to receive the best care.  

A recording of the summit is available to watch here

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