DEF, SDPA Call Attention to Heart Health for World Heart Day


To mark World Heart Day, DEF and SDPA urge PAs and NPs to stay vigilant about recognizing the signs of cardiovascular and adopting heart-healthy strategies.

The Dermatology Education Foundation (DEF) and the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (SDPA) are calling on NPs and PAs in dermatology to take charge of their own health and support peers in recognition of World Heart Day on September 29, 2023.

“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,” says Joe Gorelick, MSN, FNP-C, founder of the DEF, in a news release. 

“It’s ingrained in us as medical professionals to prioritize the health and well-being of others,” notes Laura Bush, DMSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, President of the SDPA. “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.” 

As non-profit organizations, both SDPA and DEF provide educational opportunities and additional incentives intended to advance care and optimize patient outcomes in dermatology. 

“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.” says Bush. “This is one of many opportunities for our unique groups to work together.” 

“NPs and PAs truly are at the heart of our organizations,” adds Mr. Gorelick. “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 share these tips from the The World Heart Federation  to lower the risk of heart disease: 

  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Avoid tobacco use. 
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Know your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar).
  • Take medication as prescribed.
  • Know the warning signs of heart disease. 

Facebook Comments


We’re glad to see you’re enjoying PracticalDermatology…
but how about a more personalized experience?

Register for free