W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. (Gore) and AAAneurysm Outreach, the nation’s only non-profit organization dedicated to the early detection of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), have partnered to raise awareness and drive screening of at-risk individuals. Through this collaboration, the two organizations aim to increase the amount of programming and education needed to support the clinical community as well as those at risk of AAA, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by a balloon-like bulging or widening of the abdominal aorta.
The new partnership and resulting campaign will focus on three key initiatives: awareness, outreach, and screening. Raising awareness of AAA through community engagement is a cornerstone of both AAAneurysm Outreach’s approach and Gore’s commitment to patient and clinical groups. Working together, AAAneurysm Outreach and Gore will launch a AAA Community Speaker Series, through which survivors, advocates, providers, and at-risk individuals will share their experiences and examine the issues related to AAA with a goal of saving lives through education.
Through outreach efforts, Gore and AAAneurysm Outreach will provide materials intended to enhance primary care physicians’ understanding of AAA diagnosis and treatment. The campaign will provide primary care physicians with toolkits to support their interaction and communication with vascular surgeons, interventional cardiologists, and radiologists within their region.
Finally, the campaign will organize and conduct AAA screenings for those at risk. A key element of this effort will include the AAA Screening Tour, which will empower the patient community to understand their risks and the facts about AAA from medical providers. These screenings will be conducted in various regions in close collaboration with regional healthcare providers with a goal of screening up to nearly 300 individuals at each event.
“Our ultimate goal is to create better health outcomes among those at-risk groups, which include those over the age of 60, those with a history of smoking, and those with a family history of AAA,” said Christy Ross, MHA, Executive Director for AAAneurysm Outreach. “Through this partnership, we look forward to collaborating closely with Gore and their team to make that goal a reality.”
More than one million Americans are estimated to be living with AAA without even realizing it as AAAs often do not present any symptoms. Only 10-25 percent of people will survive if their aneurysm ruptures. However, with a simple ultrasound screening, AAA can be found early and effectively managed.
“AAA has struck so many families with little warning and deadly consequences. Fortunately, with understanding and intervention, we can prevent this silent killer,” said Ryan Takeuchi, Gore Aortic Business Leader. “At Gore, we are proud of our enduring legacy of fostering awareness, education, and medical innovation to improve clinical and patient outcomes in vascular disease—particularly in the area of AAA. We look enthusiastically to the positive impact of our partnership with AAAneurysm Outreach.”