Health care organizations nationwide continue to make hypertension a priority

DALLAS, December 2, 2020 – On the heels of the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to prioritize hypertension control in the U.S. and create tailored strategies aimed at improving reach and equity, the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Medical Association (AMA) today nationally recognized more than 1,000 health care organizations (HCOs) for their continued efforts to prioritize blood pressure (BP) control among their patient population.

“Hypertension control continues to be a top priority for the AMA and AHA,” said Susan Bailey, MD, president, American Medical Association. “Together, we remain focused on ensuring all Americans, especially those in underrepresented and under-resourced communities, have access to quality health care and that all physicians have the support they need to control high blood pressure and reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease.”

Nearly half of U.S. adults – 116 million – are living with high BP[1]. The organizations recognized for their efforts this year represent 44 states or U.S. territories and serve nearly nine million patients with hypertension. Approximately half of these organizations achieved Gold award level recognition with BP control rates of ≥70%, while the other half received Participation award level recognition for their commitment to improving BP control.

“Despite the fact that we have more scientific evidence than ever before pointing to the devastating effects of uncontrolled high blood pressure, as well as broader access to low-cost generic medications to treat the condition, blood pressure control has worsened,” said Mitchell Elkind, MD, MS, FAHA, FAAN, president of the American Heart Association and professor of neurology and epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City. “That’s why both the AMA and AHA strongly support evidence-based resources and training for health care professionals as a critical component to providing the highest quality of care and patient safety. Having more than 1,000 organizations achieve recognition shows the commitment of the professionals at each location to truly be part of the solution to this far-reaching problem.”

Since the AHA and AMA launched Target: BP™, an initiative which aims to reduce the number of adult patients with uncontrolled BP, more than 1,900 organizations have joined the movement to make heart health a priority –sharing a common goal to improve health outcomes associated with heart disease.

Target: BP helps health care organizations improve BP control rates through the evidence-based AMA MAP BP quality improvement program, and recognizes organizations committed to improving BP control.

“As medical providers, we must have accountability for the care we deliver to our patients,” said Maria Perez Garcia, RN, Aurora UW Medical Group, Walker's Point Community Clinic – a Target: BP Gold award level recipient based in Milwaukee, WI. “At the end of the day, helping our patients achieve good blood pressure control means that we are saving lives. Being able to sustain these results over the last several years means that we are providing the care our patients deserve.”

Based in Milwaukee, WI, Walker’s Point Community Clinic is the largest free clinic in Wisconsin and has earned Gold level recognition for two consecutive years.

More information about Target: BP can be found at TargetBP.org.

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Media Contacts:

Karen Springs, American Heart Association: karen.springs@heart.org

Kelly Jakubek, American Medical Association: kelly.jakubek@ama-assn.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.

About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care. The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises, and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care. For more information, visit ama-assn.org.

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