MADISON, N.J., March 5, 2013 /3BL Media/ - In recognition of the devastating impact of cardiovascular disease and the financial barriers to life-saving care, the Larry King Cardiac Foundation and Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX) today announced a partnership to help improve access to cardiac health care for individuals with heart disease. The partnership will enable the foundation to increase the number of individuals it can assist through advanced gene-based and routine diagnostics information services and access to life-saving treatment and care.

Through the LKCF/Quest Diagnostics partnership, Quest will donate advanced gene-based and routine testing services to patients identified and served by the LKCF to aid in the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease.

“We partner with premier cardiac care centers and hospitals around the country as part of our effort to ‘save a life a day.’ Now, with Quest Diagnostics’ participation, we can provide the testing that helps establish patient eligibility and course of treatment,” said Larry King, Founder of the LKCF. “It’s been a hallmark of the Larry King Cardiac Foundation to provide patients not only with access to life-saving cardiac care, but also with access to the highest quality and latest strides in medical care. I’m gratified that we’re able to bring the best and latest in diagnostic innovation from Quest Diagnostics to our participating doctors and patients around the country.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year, with one death every 40 seconds. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, and the leading killer of people of most ethnicities in the United States.

Medical care for heart disease can be expensive – in 2010, heart disease and stroke hospitalizations cost the nation more than $444 billion in health care expenses and lost productivity. Many people lack sufficient means to access critical medical attention for heart disease, with nearly one in five heart attack patients indicating that cost kept them from seeking health care, according to a 2007 study from Yale University. The Larry King Cardiac Foundation (LKCF) was established in 1988 after Mr. King’s 1987 successful quintuple bypass surgery following years of cardiovascular disease and, since the foundation’s inception, has helped thousands of individuals across the United States dealing with heart disease. The Foundation provides funding for life-saving treatment for individuals who would otherwise be unable to receive the treatment and care they need.

Quest Diagnostics will provide the LKCF with a broad menu of routine, advanced and gene-based cardiovascular tests, and work directly with the Foundation’s participating hospitals to facilitate access to testing.

“Innovations in clinical diagnostics offer physicians advanced tools for the detection, identification and management of cardiac patients, helping to prevent serious complications or disability from heart diseases,” said Robert Superko, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Quest Diagnostics’ subsidiary Celera and its Berkeley HeartLab. “We provide these important tools to help clinicians make more informed decisions to improve care and to demonstrate our commitment to empowering better health through scientific innovation and diagnostic insights. It’s an honor to support the LKCF, its premier cardiac care centers, hospitals, physicians, and nurses.”

The LKCF is affiliated with premier cardiac centers: Children’s National Medical Center and George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and LAC+USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, California; New York Presbyterian: The University Hospital of Columbia and Weill Cornell University Medical Center in New York, NY; St. Joseph's Hospital/Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia; The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio; Rush University Hospital in Chicago, Illinois; The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas; Jackson Memorial, Miami, Florida; and Pepin Heart Institute in Tampa, Florida.

Above all, the LKCF and Quest Diagnostics stress the importance of talking to your doctor about heart health, your family heart health history, and your personal risk.

“Despite increased awareness, heart disease is still the leading cause of death. It’s time to stop talking and do something about it,” said Larry King. “Be aware of the vital numbers for a healthy heart, practice a healthy lifestyle, and talk to your physician about ways you can avoid cardiovascular disease.”

SOTS and BROLL of LARRY KING and DR. ROBERT SUPERKO, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Quest Diagnostics’ Celera Available here:

YouTube for viewing (Quicktime 1080p 29.97)
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