KANSAS CITY, MO - August 28, 2023 - High blood pressure remains a leading cause of stroke, impacting nearly half of adults in the United States and many people with hypertension do not have it under control. The American Heart Association, along with HCA Midwest Health and the Kansas City Public Library, is making 30 “Libraries with Heart” kits, including blood pressure cuffs and educational resources, available to all Kansas City Public Library branches. Patrons can use their library cards to check out the kits. Each library will also have a kiosk in which the public can monitor their blood pressure.

Knowledge and management of heart-related risk factors and conditions are critical in reducing the likelihood of and improving outcomes of stroke, especially across populations with health disparities. This powerful connection between heart and brain health is the target of Getting to the Heart of Stroke, a new initiative between the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, with support and collaboration from HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading health care providers.

“The goal of Getting to the Heart of Stroke, in conjunction with the American Heart Association, is to improve the health of Kansas City residents by addressing disparities through local health impact work, like high blood pressure management,” said Keith Zimmerman, President, HCA Midwest Health. “This is just one of the many ways we help create a healthier and stronger community.

“Many people with high blood pressure don’t even know they have it, so being able to check and monitor is a huge step in the right direction. Known as the silent killer, high blood pressure is one of the most common risk factors for heart disease and stroke.”

According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. Blood pressure numbers of less than 120/80 mm Hg are considered within 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. People who have elevated or high blood pressure should speak with their primary physician immediately to determine next steps.

“We are thrilled to be working with HCA Midwest Health and the Kansas City Public Library to offer blood pressure cuffs and educational information,” said Laura Lopez, Executive Director of the American Heart Association in Kansas City.

“Teaming up with community partners who are passionate about the health of Kansas Citians allows us to better support Kansas City and meet people where they are. I have no doubt that this initiative will continue to grow and impact even more individuals.”




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.


About HCA Healthcare
Nashville-based HCA Healthcare is one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare services comprising 182 hospitals and approximately 2,300 ambulatory sites of care, including surgery centers, freestanding ERs, urgent care centers, and physician clinics, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. With its founding in 1968, HCA Healthcare created a new model for hospital care in the United States, using combined resources to strengthen hospitals, deliver patient-focused care and improve the practice of medicine. HCA Healthcare has conducted a number of clinical studies, including one that demonstrated that full-term delivery is healthier than early elective delivery of babies and another that identified a clinical protocol that can reduce bloodstream infections in ICU patients by 44%. HCA Healthcare is a learning health system that uses its more than 35 million annual patient encounters to advance science, improve patient care and save lives. Please click here to connect with HCA Healthcare on social media.

About HCA Healthcare Foundation
The mission of the HCA Healthcare Foundation is to promote health and well-being and strive to make a positive impact in all the communities HCA Healthcare serves. We accomplish this mission by providing leadership, service and financial support to effective non-profit organizations working individually and collectively.

About HCA Midwest Health 
As the Kansas City area’s largest healthcare provider, HCA Midwest Health consists of seven hospitals and dozens of outpatient centers, clinics, physician practices, surgery centers and an array of other facilities and services to meet area residents’ healthcare needs. HCA Midwest Health is one of the area’s largest employers, with more than 10,000 colleagues and a local economic impact of more than $1.3 billion each year. That includes more than $113 million annually in charity and uncompensated care and almost $200 million in federal, state and local taxes to help improve the schools, roads and infrastructure of the communities we serve. HCA Midwest Health facilities include Research Medical Center, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Centerpoint Medical Center, Menorah Medical Center, Lee's Summit Medical Center, Belton Regional Medical Center, Lafayette Regional Health Center and Research Psychiatric Center. HCA Midwest Physicians, which is part of HCA Midwest Health, is a network of experienced, multi-specialty physicians located throughout the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Currently, HCA Midwest Physicians represents 600+ providers. It includes 80+ specialties, providing care in 150+ locations to serve our community. The physicians, licensed professionals and support staff who comprise the HCA Midwest Health team are dedicated to improving healthcare in the Greater Kansas City and outlying areas to create healthier communities that lead to healthier tomorrows. For more information, visit hcamidwest.com.


For Media Inquiries:
American Heart Association

DeEtta Lee, Communications Director
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and stroke.org


HCA Midwest Health
Christine Hamele, AVP, Public Relations and Community Affairs
christine.hamele@hcamidwest.com, 913-208-5566

Kimberly Stern, HCA Midwest Health News Bureau
kimberlyHCAMidwest@sternwrites.com, 913-449-4294