BETHEL, ALASKA, September 18, 2023 — Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to a variety of health threats including heart disease, kidney disease or failure, stroke, heart failure and more, but individuals can take control and impact their numbers through medication, lifestyle changes and other measures. The American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, and the Bethel Family Clinic are collaborating on a project to arm residents of Bethel and the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta with tools and information to support better blood pressure control.
Current or new clients of the Bethel Family Clinic who have been identified to have high blood pressure can enroll in the program which includes the opportunity to check out a blood pressure measurement device through a loaner program. With the device, educational resources about blood pressure and instructions on how to properly use the machine are included in an accompanying packet. Additionally, enrollees can review the information one-on-one with a staff clinician. Once at home, program participants will measure their blood pressure daily and log their numbers to help determine if the lifestyle changes or medications they are employing are effective in moving blood pressure numbers into a healthier range.
“Access to a blood pressure cuff where patients can measure numbers over a period of time is critical in understanding individual blood pressure readings,” said Debra L. Cyphert, MSN, FNP, medical director, Bethel Family Clinic. “Some patients’ blood pressure numbers are elevated by just being in a clinical setting and at home, the readings tell a different story. For those who are making lifestyle changes like adjustments to diet or increasing physical activity, seeing the impact of those changes through their daily readings can be very encouraging and informative.”
Home blood pressure monitoring can be especially useful for anyone diagnosed with high blood pressure, for anyone starting a high blood pressure treatment to help determine effectiveness, for those requiring closer monitoring especially those at high risk for high blood pressure or conditions related to high blood pressure, or pregnant women experiencing pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and/or preeclampsia. Home monitoring should not be a substitute for regular visits to your medical provider but can be an important tool for patients and clinicians.
To learn more about the program at the Bethel Family Clinic or to enroll, schedule an appointment by calling (907) 543-3773 or online at BethelFamilyClinic.org. The Bethel Family Clinic also invites anyone interested in learning their blood pressure numbers to stop by the clinic during regular business hours for a reading, no appointment necessary.
- heart.org article: The Facts About High Blood Pressure
- heart.org article: Understanding Blood Pressure Readings
- Infographic: Consequences of High Blood pressure in English, Spanish or Traditional Chinese
- Infographic: How to Measure Your Blood Pressure Properly in English, Spanish or Chinese
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, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1. In Alaska, find us at heart.org/Alaska, on Facebook, Instagram or X.
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For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)