MILWAUKEE, WI, Dec. 12, 2023 – Patrons at three southeastern Wisconsin libraries are encouraged to stay on top of their own blood pressure numbers through the ongoing American Heart Association “Libraries with Heart” program.
The program, which first launched last summer at the Racine Public Library, has been expanded to the public libraries in Waukesha and Menomonee Falls.
Sites for currently active programs are:
- Racine Public Library,75 7th St., Racine; www.racinelibrary.info
- Menomonee Falls Public Library, W156N8436 Pilgrim Road, Menomonee Falls; www.menomoneefallslibrary.org
- Waukesha Public Library, 321 Wisconsin Ave., Waukesha; www.waukeshapubliclibrary.org
Each of the kits include 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.”
Officials at all three libraries said they were pleased to partner with the American Heart Association on this venture.
“(We are) proud to be partnering with the American Heart Association through these various undertakings,” Racine Public Library Executive Director Angela Zimmerman said. “As a public library offering free and accessible services to all with a vital focus of everything we do centered around community engagement, this is a perfect partnership to provide access to public health resources and education. We share the AHA’s sentiments in our excitement to see the influence as our efforts continue.”
The same message came from both the Waukesha and Menomonee Falls libraries.
“When the American Heart Association contacted us about the ‘Libraries with Heart’ program, we jumped at the opportunity to participate,” Waukesha Public Library Marketing Manager Kori Hall said. “What an amazing opportunity to help educate the community about the importance of monitoring your own health risks and to provide them with the tools to help make that happen.”
Menomonee Falls is the latest to join the program, as it launched this summer.
“The Menomonee Falls Public Library is thrilled to be a part of the ‘Libraries With Heart’ movement,” said Adult Services and Reference Assistant Maggie Davis and Business Manager Ellen Rohr in a joint statement. “We hope that 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.”
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).
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, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.