MENOMONEE FALLS, WI, JULY 26, 2023 – Patrons who visit the Menomonee Falls Public Library now can monitor their blood pressure at home as part of the American Heart Association’s Libraries with Heart initiative.
Menomonee Falls is the third library in southeastern Wisconsin to roll out the program – Racine Public Library was the first a year ago, followed by Waukesha Public Library in May. The most recent debut was a joint effort between the American Heart Association, the library and the Froedtert and Medical College of Wisconsin Health Network.
Patrons to the library, located at W156N8436 Pilgrim Road, now can check out six kits – an additional kit will remain onsite for patrons to use on an ongoing basis.
“The Menomonee Falls Public Library is thrilled to be a part of the ‘Libraries with Heart’ movement,” Adult Services and Reference Assistant Maggie Davis and Business Manager Ellen Rohr said in a joint statement. “We hope this collaboration will have a positive impact on the physical health of our community and affirms our commitment to our patrons. We believe that the blood pressure monitoring kits will be a great addition to our growing ‘Library of Things’ collection.”
Included in each kit are American Heart Association-guided materials, such as a validated monitor and cuff. Included in the educational materials are instructions about how to take your blood pressure at home, what those numbers mean, a log for recording numbers and a list of local health care providers ready to answer questions. All the materials also are available in both English and Spanish. (https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/understanding-blood-pressure-readings/monitoring-your-blood-pressure-at-home).
“Meeting people where they are is fundamental to our mission at the American Heart Association,” American Heart Association Senior Community Impact Director Susan Hjelsand said. “Not only is this an opportunity for people to learn more about their heart health, ‘Libraries with Heart’ allows for the critical link to health care and a warm introduction to medical expertise. Everyone involved in this program is seeking to remove barriers to becoming healthier and saving lives.”
According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of American adults (about 120 million people) have high blood pressure, or hypertension, which can lead deadly health consequences such as stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, vision loss and sexual dysfunction if left untreated. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure is to check it and talk about it with your health care provider.
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. (https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/why-high-blood-pressure-is-a-silent-killer).
"Increasing the availability of blood pressure cuffs supports Froedtert and Medical College of Wisconsin’s efforts to improve high blood pressure control and reduce health disparities in the diverse communities we serve," said Andrew Dresang, executive director community engagement, Froedtert Health. "Partnering with the American Heart Association is just one of many ways we are working to eliminate barriers to care."
Uninsured and underinsured library patrons who need additional help managing their blood pressure can be seen at the Community Outreach Health Clinic (COHC) inside Froedtert Menomonee Falls Hospital. The COHC also provides nonemergency medical needs, mental health treatment and counseling, pharmaceutical assistance, and referrals to specialty care. The clinic is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m.
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. People with elevated blood pressure are likely to develop high blood pressure unless steps are taken to control the condition.
For more blood pressure information, visit www.heart.org.
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.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.