Saving lives through prevention and education
Dare To C.A.R.E. Success Stories
Dare to C.A.R.E. (DTC) is a nonprofit organization located in Annapolis, Maryland and is directed by John D. Martin, MD and Louise O. Hanson, CRNP of Cardiology Associates, PC. It began in 2000, and since then, has been attended by thousands of people, many of whom have had life-saving procedures as a result of disease detected at DTC events.
The C.A.R.E. acronym stands for:
- Carotid Artery Disease: the primary source of preventable strokes.
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms: the 10th leading cause of death in men.
- Renal Artery Stenosis: responsible for at least 20% of patients on dialysis.
- Extremity Artery Disease: a disease which has a mortality rate significantly higher than breast cancer and affects 12 million Americans.
Through the efforts of volunteers and the use of lectures, educational materials, free ultrasound testing and meetings with cardiovascular specialists, DTC brings the important message to the public that complications of cardiovascular disease can be prevented.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one health problem in this country today. More than half of Americans will die from complications of atherosclerotic disease, the root cause of cardiovascular disease and millions more will suffer debilitating complications that rob many Americans of a meaningful quality of life. One million Americans die of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders every year in the United States—that means 2 out of every 5 deaths in the United States, or one life every 33 seconds. Unfortunately, the majority of people with this disease are unaware of their problem until severe complications or death occur.
Cardiovascular disease is a systemic disease that affects the heart and arteries in the body. It is called coronary artery disease (CAD) when the heart is involved and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) when it involves the other arteries in the body such as the arms, legs, kidneys, intestines and the brain.
The testing portion of the program consists of a blood pressure check and a non-invasive ultrasound examination of your carotid arteries, abdominal aorta, and evaluation of the circulation in your legs.
The second component of the program involves attending an evening of informative lectures about cardiovascular disease given by physicians and nurse practitioners. Topics include the definition of the various types of cardiovascular disease, causes and risks for the disease, and the latest treatment options.
We have already raised funds and have initiated the mission of providing free programs to all at-risk individuals in our region. Potential at-risk criteria include age (greater than 60) and/or risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking or family history of cardiovascular disease. Individuals over the age of 50 who have any of the listed risk factors are also considered at-risk. While we have been extremely pleased with the results of the program, we wish to expand it statewide in order to set an example of cardiovascular health for our nation.
DTC is a program we can all be very proud of and a gift we give graciously to our participants. We welcome you to join the DTC family and encourage you to send us your feedback on how we can make it a better program.
John D. Martin, MD
Co-Director, Dare to C.A.R.E.
Louise O. Hanson, CRNP
Co-Director, Dare to C.A.R.E.