SANTA CLARA VALLEY: Health Trust Funds Heart Disease Prevention Project
The Health Trust, the charitable trust created through Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.'s 1996 purchase of nonprofit Good Samaritan Hospital, announced that it will award $4.8 million in grants this year to improve the health of residents in Santa Clara Valley. As part of this initiative, the Health Trust is funding the "Heart Disease on the Mend" project which is designed to reduce re-occurring heart disease in at-risk, low- income residents of the valley. The Health Trust reports that the heart disease project is the first major project to be funded from assets frozen during "arduous negotiations" with the state attorney general concerning nonprofit conversions (see past coverage). Spearheaded by the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention, the project will be a collaborative effort among the valley's public and nonprofit hospitals, including Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Stanford, El Camino and O'Conner hospitals. The three-year project, which begins this month, will initially focus on low-income patients, using a nutrition focused, case management approach to stem the tide of heart disease among the valley's underserved. Health Trust President Gary Allen said, "The potential savings are high compared to the prevention dollars spent." According to the county Public Health Department, the leading cause of death in the county in 1995 was heart disease, contributing to nearly one-third of all deaths (Health Trust release, 1/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.