DALLAS, October 6, 2021 – The American Heart Association and American Medical Association (AMA) today nationally recognized more than 1,100 health care organizations (HCOs) for their continued efforts to prioritize blood pressure (BP) control among their patient populations.
“Together, we are focused on making sure physicians and all Americans—particularly those living in historically marginalized communities—have access to quality health care and the support they need to control high blood pressure and reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease,” said Gerald E. Harmon, M.D., president, American Medical Association. “With high blood pressure control rates declining and deaths from cardiovascular disease on the rise, it is more important now than ever to help people get their blood pressure under control. We will continue to make hypertension control a top priority and lead efforts to improve the health of the nation.”
Nearly half of U.S. adults – 120.5 million – are living with high BP. The organizations recognized for their efforts this year represent 45 states or U.S. territories and serve more than eight million people with hypertension. Approximately one-third of these organizations achieved Gold or Gold+ award level recognition with BP control rates of ≥70%, while about half achieved Silver and the remainder received Participation award level recognition for their commitment to improving BP control.
“High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke and premature death worldwide, but there are ways to manage it once it is diagnosed,” said Donald Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Sc.M., FAHA, president of the American Heart Association and chair of the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “Uncontrolled hypertension is particularly problematic in communities of color and there are significant racial and ethnic disparities in both hypertension prevalence and management. Initiatives like Target: BP can bring real solutions to help people improve blood pressure control through awareness and education on managing risk factors and improving health and overall well-being.”
Since the American Heart Association and American Medical Association launched Target: BP™, an initiative which aims to reduce the number of adult patients with uncontrolled BP, more than 2,600 health care 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 work to improve BP control rates using the evidence-based AMA MAP BP™ framework (Measure Accurately; Act Rapidly; and Partner with Patients), and recognizes organizations committed to improving BP control.
“We are proud to have sustained Target: BP Gold Plus level performance for blood pressure control in the patients we serve,” said Kevin Anderson, MD, associate medical director of quality for OhioHealth Physician Group – a multispecialty group and 2021 Target: BP Gold Plus organization serving 47 Ohio counties. OhioHealth Physician Group has submitted data for three consecutive years to Target: BP, with the first two years being awarded Gold level recognition. “System wide initiatives promoting accurate blood pressure measurement have moved the needle for our patients. We know that as a result of lowering blood pressure, we are also reducing heart attacks and strokes. Thanks to our providers’ hypertension control efforts, we are saving additional patient lives at OhioHealth.”
To further celebrate excellence in evidence-based BP activities, Target: BP launched new award categories for 2021, emphasizing the importance of accurate BP measurement equipment, regular staff education and training, and reliable systems of care to ensure accurate BP measurement for every patient.
In addition to submitting annual data for BP control rates, participants are asked to attest to their team’s commitment to accuracy in BP measurement. Organizations attesting to four of the six evidence-based BP activities are eligible to receive the Silver or Gold+ award.
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.
Karen Springs, American Heart Association: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kelly Jakubek, American Medical Association: email@example.com
 Table 27-1 and 27-2 https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/epub/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000757