Meet Lee Hord. For many years, he has consulted with the healthcare community to improve population health management, reduce costs and improve quality. Lee says, 'advocacy allows me to make a positive difference in the lives of others.'
Recently, Lee started his own consulting business, Quantum Effect Consulting. He is a Vanderbilt University graduate with an MBA from Xavier University. To his credit, he has published a self-help book, Eating Elephants, and holds several patents. Lee lives in the Nashville area and enjoys hiking, running events in his spare time, and serves on the 2016-17 Tennessee Advocacy Committee.
We recently spoke with Lee about his involvement in the American Heart Association and why he is passionate for advocating for policies that impact and treat heart disease and stroke.
Why Support the AHA? Why Advocacy? Why Now?
I watched my father take his last breath after suffering a heart attack, I was only 10 years old. Family and neighborhood friends stood by as he passed away, no one able to revive him or sustain his life. The mother of my best friend tried to hold me back from the scene, but to no avail; I watched and did nothing. Experiencing the paramedics cart his lifeless body out the front door, I knew that day would be last I would see him alive. At that young age, it was difficult to comprehend, yet the finality was certain.
Forty-two years later in our modern world fueled with copious amounts of online information, most Americans are aware of the benefits from living a healthy lifestyle and are achieving greater longevity. Cardiovascular disease risk factors such as using tobacco, eating poorly and a sedentary lifestyle are well-know. People are taking more accountability for their health with their primary care physician. However, awareness is not enough, we need action! In general, people continue to make unhealthy choices which yield negative outcomes (note the rise in obesity rates). When someone uses tobacco or consumes unhealthy foods, we all pay for it. Living a healthy lifestyle and making positive lifestyle choices is not only good for the individual and their family, those positive choices support the community as well. Further, at risk populations do not have access to healthy food choices, information, or quality healthcare. Given the rising cost of quality healthcare, programs such as Medicare & Medicaid are being drained, and the average household is spending a greater and greater amount of their discretionary income on healthcare. We need action now!
Advocacy is a tangible means for anyone to make a positive difference at the local, state and federal levels. I have had the privilege to support the American Heart Association advocacy efforts in Tennessee and Arizona. Advocacy allows me to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Thanks to the American Heart Association, I am part of the legislative process to enact health-related laws. When legislation passes that you have worked hard for and believe in, it is the greatest sense of accomplishment because you are helping everyone and making a positive impact in the lives of others.
You can take action and get involved too. Get moving!