Project Summary

Background: Approximately 8.5 million Americans live with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD often causes pain during walking. PAD is associated with a high cardiovascular risk. African Americans are especially at risk of late diagnoses and leg amputation. Awareness of PAD in the population is only 25 percent.

Proposed Solution: The project team aims to develop a dissemination campaign in an urban, predominantly African-American community where individuals face barriers in accessing quality care and suffer economic hardship. Patients and providers participating in the study reflected on what information can empower at-risk individuals to get care, act, and take charge of their vascular health. It is the project team’s goal to share this information with the most vulnerable stakeholders. Recently, healthcare leaders in the Greater Kansas City area agreed to work together to improve economic opportunities and health of individuals living in this area. The team will also engage individuals and organizations involved in a major revitalization project. By leveraging this infrastructure, the project team’s model can serve as a template for research dissemination campaigns in other urban, high-risk settings.


  • Work with patients, providers, community to develop an easy-step program and pathways to local resources that at-risk community members could follow to take charge of their vascular health.
  • The easy-step-program will be rolled out with a multifaceted dissemination campaign in the district.
  • The project team will organize a vascular quality-of-care symposium targeting providers, health administrators, and researchers working in the district.


  • Work with stakeholders to develop an easy-step program to improve vascular health. Key areas to address will be based on PORTRAIT findings (e.g., where to get screened; access to exercise programs; healthy feet behaviors; community resources for smoking cessation; safe places to walk).
  • Multifaceted dissemination campaign in the district including: interactive community health mural with stakeholder participation, social/traditional media, bus advertisements, existing health fairs in the area, education campaigns for local business owners, PAD awareness walk, and vascular health awareness campaign at YMCA/churches.
  • The project team will organize a symposium for providers, health administrators, and researchers working in the district to develop a roadmap of quality-of-care initiatives to improve vascular care in the region.

Outcomes and Outputs:

  • Attendance
  • Needs and barrier assessment
  • PAD knowledge and awareness scores
  • PAD diagnosis and screening
  • Roadmap for quality care to improve vascular health

Engagement Plan: Through this network, the project team brings stakeholders together to prioritize an agenda of messages derived from its work in PORTRAIT. The team will collaborate with local artists and commission a community-painted mural for vascular health. The team will partner with existing health fairs and local businesses to share information and meet with stakeholders. PORTRAIT patient experts will advise the team quarterly. Information will be presented at the Health Sciences District quarterly board meetings. The project team will alternate attendance at the monthly Heartland Community Connection and the Paseo Gateway Advisory Council meetings.

Project Collaborators: UMKC, Saint Luke’s Hospital, UMKC Health Sciences District, Storytellers, Inc., Paseo Gateway Initiative, American Heart Association, PAD patient experts, PAD provider experts.

Project Information

Kim Smolderen, PhD
Yale University^

Key Dates

30 months

^This project was initially based at University of Missouri, Kansas City.


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: February 2, 2023