State Cuts Funding of Stroke and Heart Attack Prevention Program

Dr. James C. Metts, chairman of the Community Cardiovascular Council, announced that all state and federal funding ($170,000) for the agency’s service programs ended September 30, 2011.

The Community Cardiovascular Council (CCC) has been providing free blood pressure screening and referral services, as well as low income clinic treatment services, for the past 43 years to the citizens of Chatham and Effingham counties.

The CCC was created in 1969 by Dr. Metts, the late Dr. John L. Elliot and a broad cross-section of citizen volunteers to combat the areas extremely high death and disability rates caused by high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and kidney failure.

The CCC has been very successful in providing both community leadership and coordination of services which has resulted in an 82% reduction in the stroke death rate and a 46% reduction in the heart attack death rate.

Charles E. Powell, the CCC’s executive director, was notified by telephone by the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) on August 22, 2011, that all state and federal funding would cease effective September 30, 2011.

Dr. Metts and the CCC board of directors have met twice in emergency session to address this unexpected, short notice funding cut. The CCC board is determined to continue all the services of the agency by restructuring and merging the clinic services with another community partner, engaging the agency’s reserve funds, reorganizing the community outreach and blood pressure screening resources and seeking additional funding sources and community donations. Members of the CCC board and the executive director have been in contact with our local elected representatives in both Washington and Atlanta. While all those contacted are concerned, given the state of the economy, no one is able to promise restoration of the CCC funding at this time.

The CCC’s current remaining funding resources will sustain all services and staff through January, 2012. The CCC board meets again in mid-October to consider the necessary actions and plans to reinvent its services so as to be viable in both the short and long term.

Dr. Metts and the CCC board and staff have notified all clinic patients, assuring them of continued services in our current clinics and placement in our future partner clinic. The CCC’s blood pressure screening services are continuing with our partner organizations which include the Savannah Fire Department, local churches, neighborhood centers barber/ beauty shops and health fairs.

For more information contact Charles Powell at 232-6624 or

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