VERSAILLES, KY, DECEMBER 4, 2023 - Patrons who visit the Woodford County Library in both Versailles and Midway can now monitor their blood pressure at home as part of the American Heart Association’s ongoing “Libraries with Heart” program, which allows for blood pressure kits to be borrowed, much like checking out a book. Woodford County Library is the second library system in Kentucky to roll out the program, with Clark County Public Library becoming the first earlier this year.

‘‘I think that the ‘Libraries with Heart’ initiative is in line with where we want to take the library in the future,” said Tommy Dennison, adult services coordinator at Woodford County Library. “It isn’t just about books anymore. Being able to access a blood pressure cuff here or being able to check one out to take home is another great way to serve the citizens of Woodford County.  We want to eliminate some of the stigma that comes along with going to have your blood pressure checked and make it easier to monitor heart health.”

Each kit includes a blood pressure monitor, American Heart Association guided materials on how to properly measure blood pressure at home, an explanation of what those blood pressure numbers mean, and a contact list of providers from Bluegrass Community Hospital who will provide follow-up to anyone who needs it.

“Being invited to be part of this initiative in making our communities healthier and to provide the resources to do so is an honor,” said Sarah Bond, nurse practitioner in cardiology at Bluegrass Community Hospital. “I look forward to connecting with this community and any future opportunities that may arise.”

An event will be held to kick off the program at the main branch in Versailles on Thursday, December 7, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will include health screenings and a variety of activities. As part of the event, Dr. Sylvia Cerel-Suhl with Kidsart4hearts will be in attendance to host an art class where children and families will learn how to make origami hearts while learning about heart health. The hearts will then be used to make a community art installation. For more information about the event, contact American Heart Association Community Impact Director Mike Turner at

Nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure, which can lead to stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, vision loss and more. These poor health outcomes can potentially be avoided if hypertension is managed. Unfortunately, many people don’t know they have high blood pressure, and the use of a blood pressure monitor might be difficult because of cost or lack of access. “Libraries with Heart” aims to improve the health of local communities by making these resources readily available for free for those who need them.

“Meeting people where they are is fundamental to our mission at the American Heart Association,” said Andrea Ooten, executive director of the American Heart Association in Central and Eastern Kentucky. “Not only is ‘Libraries with Heart’ an opportunity for people to learn more about their health, it also provides access to community resources so those who need it can follow up and take charge of their health. Everyone involved in this program is seeking to remove barriers to healthcare access and save lives.”

High blood pressure commonly is known as the “silent killer,” because as many as 36% of patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure are not aware of their condition. People with elevated blood pressure are likely to develop high blood pressure unless steps are taken to control the condition. Blood pressure numbers of less than 120/80 mm Hg are considered within the normal range. If your results fall into this category, stick with heart-healthy habits like following a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.

To learn more about blood pressure and how you can keep yours in check, visit



About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   


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