Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller Releases ‘Cardiovascular Health in the Southland’ Report

Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller Releases Cardiovascular Health in the Southland Report

Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller Releases Cardiovascular Health in the Southland Report (Cook County, IL) — Today, Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller released a new report titled “Cardiovascular Health in the Southland,” which examines the impacts of location and race on cardiovascular disease survival and outcomes in suburban Cook County. Since she first took office in 2019, Commissioner Miller has made it a priority to use her background in the healthcare industry to educate residents on the risks of cardiovascular disease, how to prevent it, and how to improve outcomes of cardiac events through CPR training. Her office undertook the effort to create the report in order to better measure cardiovascular disease deaths within Cook County and understand how race and location within the Sixth District impact death rates.

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“During my time in office, I’ve made it a priority to shine a spotlight on the disparities in access to healthcare in Cook County and the need for increased resources to improve health outcomes, particularly as it relates to cardiovascular disease, for the Southland,” said Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller. “This report is a crucial part of that work, and highlights how cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in Illinois and Cook County, disproportionately impacts Black residents in certain areas of the district as a result of existing systems of policy, practice, and public education. I am proud that we can now share this report and I believe it can be an important tool for decision makers in the county as we work to improve health outcomes for all residents.”

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The paper examines data collected by the Cook County Medical Examiner (CCME) and the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) to determine what areas within the Sixth District have high cardiovascular disease death rates and how this corresponds with the racial demographics of the district. The report found that overall, cardiovascular disease-related deaths occur more frequently in CCDPH’s South jurisdiction, which has a substantial Black population, compared to the Southwest jurisdiction, whose population is predominantly white.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death within Cook County, the state of Illinois, and the entire country. By examining where high cardiovascular death rates exist within the Sixth District, the report is able to establish different discernible patterns and pinpoint where the County and its partners should be designating resources to achieve a healthier, more equitable community. Legislation championed by Commissioner Miller and approved earlier this year requires the CCDPH and Cook County Health to present a healthcare disparities analysis to the Health and Hospitals Committee of the Cook County Board semi-annually.

To help improve outcomes for those with heart disease, Commissioner Miller helped implement in-person CPR and AED training and virtual CPR and AED training for Cook County employees, an initiative that won a 2022 National Association of Counties Achievement Award. Hundreds of employees along with elected officials and department heads have taken part in the “Hands-Only” CPR/AED training including the Cook County Board President and staff, members of the Board of Commissioners and staff, and executives and staff from agencies of separately elected officials and Cook County Health. This effort is particularly important for African Americans, who are 30-50% less likely to have bystander CPR performed when suffering from a cardiac event than white adults. Having CPR initiated by a bystander when someone is suffering from cardiac arrest can almost double the chances of survival.

Read the full “Cardiovascular Health in the Southland” report here.

Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller Releases Cardiovascular Health in the Southland Report

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