2017 | HFSA

St. Luke’s Spotlights Critical Link Between Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease in Partnership With Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company

Practice News Industry

Allentown, PA, Nov. 14, 2017 – St. Luke’s University Health Network today announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) to deliver resources from For Your SweetHeart™: Where diabetes and heart disease meet – a nationwide movement to raise awareness of the critical connection between type 2 diabetes and heart disease – to over 200 facilities and 60,000 people served by the organization annually.

“St. Luke’s University Health Network is proud to continue our mission of improving patient education and care by collaborating with Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly on this important initiative to encourage people with type 2 diabetes to learn more about their heart disease risk,” said Dr. Bankim Bhatt, St. Luke’s Chief of Endocrinology. “By providing relevant, educational resources about the connection between type 2 diabetes and heart disease to our community, we hope to empower people with type 2 diabetes and their loved ones to speak with their healthcare providers and to take action.”

For Your SweetHeart launched in November 2016 following a survey that found more than half (52 percent) of adults with type 2 diabetes do not understand they are at an increased risk for heart disease and related life-threatening events, like heart attack, stroke or even death. Due to the complications associated with diabetes, such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure and obesity, cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease, is a major complication and the leading cause of death associated with diabetes. Ten leading patient and professional advocacy organizations and a steering committee of eight leading medical experts (cardiologists, endocrinologists and primary care physicians) have also joined the For Your SweetHeart movement to further educate their communities about the link between type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

St. Luke’s University Health Network – a non-profit, regional, fully integrated, nationally recognized network providing services at seven hospitals and more than 200 sites in counties throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey – encourages people with type 2 diabetes to assess their risk through the Heart You Quiz and other resources available on ForYourSweetHeart.com. In partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly, St. Luke’s University Health Network will offer community educational classes and events with leading specialists to further spread awareness of this important link.

The For Your SweetHeart message and mission is relevant throughout Pennsylvania and, in particular, the Lehigh Valley, which is burdened with higher-than-normal and rising rates of diabetes, according to Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare’s 2017 Type 2 Diabetes ReportTM. From 2014 to 2016, the percentages of people with type 2 diabetes who were of working age (18–64) increased in three of five profiled Pennsylvania markets. In Allentown, this portion increased by more than two percentage points, to 45.4 percent in 2016.

“Nearly 30 million people in the U.S. are living with diabetes, and many of them do not know they are at an increased risk of experiencing heart-related complications,” said Jean-Michel Boers, president, Human Pharma, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “We are thrilled to partner with health organizations, such as St. Luke’s University Health Network, to reach people in their local communities with the For Your SweetHeart message and mission, to raise awareness and encourage action to reduce the risk of heart disease among people with diabetes.”

About For Your SweetHeart: Where diabetes and heart disease meet

For Your SweetHeart is a nationwide movement to raise awareness of the link between type 2 diabetes and heart disease and to encourage people with type 2 diabetes to know their heart disease risk and speak to their healthcare provider, for the sake of their health and the people they cherish the most. Learn more about For Your SweetHeart, take and share the Heart You Quiz and sign up for more information at ForYourSweetHeart.com. Spread the word, because by having a heart, you might just save others.

For Your SweetHeart was developed and sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company. Elements of the campaign, including the Heart You Quiz, were reviewed and validated by a steering committee of leading cardiologists, endocrinologists, primary care physicians and third-party groups.

Participating medical experts:

  • Seth J. Baum, M.D., FACC, FACPM, FAHA, FNLA, FASPC, president and chief medical officer, American Society for Preventive Cardiology
  • Stephen A. Brunton, M.D., executive director, Primary Care Metabolic Group
  • Matthew Budoff, M.D., professor of medicine, UCLA, Endowed Chair of Preventive Cardiology, program director, Division of Cardiology, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute
  • Ty J. Gluckman, M.D., FACC, FAHA, medical director, Clinical Transformation, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute, Portland, Oregon
  • Jennifer Green, M.D., endocrinologist and associate professor of medicine, Duke University Division of Endocrinology and Duke Clinical Research Institute
  • Leigh Perreault, M.D., associate professor of medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes, Affiliate Center for Global Health, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, associate professor of epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health
  • Anne Peters, M.D., director, USC Clinical Diabetes Program, professor, Keck School of Medicine of USC
  • Karol E. Watson, M.D., Ph.D., FACC, professor of medicine/cardiology, co-director, UCLA Program in Preventive Cardiology, director, UCLA Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Health Program

Participating patient and professional organizations:

Media Contacts

Sam Kennedy

Corporate Communications Director

St. Luke’s University Health Network

Email: samuel.kennedy@sluhn.org

Phone: (484) 526-4134

Lauren Murphy, MBA

Associate Director, Public Relations
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Email: lauren.murphy@boehringer-ingelheim.com
Phone: (203) 448-1982


Molly McCully
Communications Manager
Lilly Diabetes
Email: mccully_molly@lilly.com
Phone: (317) 478-5423About St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN)


Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network providing services at seven hospitals and more than 270 outpatient sites in the greater Lehigh Valley. The network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Schuylkill, Bucks, Montgomery, Berks and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the region’s first and only regional medical school campus. Dedicated to advancing health education, St. Luke’s operates the nation’s oldest School of Nursing and 23 graduate medical educational programs and is considered a major teaching hospital – the only one in its region. Repeatedly, including 2017, St. Luke’s earned Truven’s 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital and 50 Top Cardiovascular Program designations, in addition to other honors for clinical excellence. St. Luke’s is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of St. Luke’s information technology applications such as electronic medical records, telehealth, online scheduling and pricing information. St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.