Greenville, N.C. – Four ECU Health Physicians clinics have been recognized by the American Heart Association and American Medical Association for its commitment to improving blood pressure (BP) control rates, earning Gold-level recognition as part of Target: BP. The Gold award recognizes practices in which high blood pressure is controlled in 70% or more of the adult patients affected.
“Managing and controlling your blood pressure is essential for preventing the development of heart disease and stroke, which continue to be leading causes of death for adults in our country,” said Dr. Jason Foltz, chief medical officer, ECU Health Physicians. “High blood pressure is a leading risk factor of heart disease and stroke that can often be prevented or managed if diagnosed and treated properly. Our region experiences high rates of diabetes, stroke and heart disease, and the Target: BP program allows ECU Health to better help patients lower their blood pressure by putting proven knowledge and guidelines to work on a daily basis.”
According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure, or hypertension, is a leading risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and preventable death in the U.S. There are 121.5 million adults in the country living with hypertension – that is nearly half of all adults in the U.S. Unfortunately, less than half of them have their blood pressure under control, making both diagnosis and effective management critical. Heart disease is the leading cause of death both nationally and in the state. Meanwhile, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S., yet is the fourth leading cause of death in North Carolina.
Target: BP is a national initiative formed by the American Heart Association and American Medical Association in response to the high prevalence of uncontrolled blood pressure. The initiative aims to help health care organizations and care teams, at no cost, improve blood pressure control rates through an evidence-based quality improvement program and recognizes organizations that are committed to improving blood pressure control.
“By committing to helping more people in eastern North Carolina control their blood pressure and reduce their risks for future heart disease and stroke, ECU Health is taking a key step to helping more people live longer, healthier lives,” said Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, PhD, MHS, RN, FAHA, Target: BP advisory group volunteer and associate professor at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. “ECU Health’s participation in the Target: BP initiative shows its dedication to turning clinical guidelines into lifelines for patients and their families.”