News on Wellness

Kaiser Permanente Supports Better Blood Pressure Control

Kaiser PermanenteKaiser Permanente, the largest integrated healthcare system in the country, plans to support the American Heart Association (AHA) in its effort to improve blood pressure control for the African American population in San Diego, California and Atlanta, Georgia. However, this effort will be spread out over three years and will be dependent on community-based efforts, along with patients and doctors.

The goal is to relieve some of the burden on people with high blood pressure, as well as healthcare providers and insurance companies by creating a replicated model across other communities in the country. This effort is being collaborated among healthcare providers, medical clinics, technology, community organizations, and volunteer health mentors.

By tracking blood pressure readings, Kaiser Permanente hopes patients will share the information with medical professionals who in turn can track progress over an extended period of time. Using a grant received from the Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Fund, AHA will launch the “Community-to-Clinic, Clinic-to-Community (C2C2): Improving Hypertension Control in Blacks and African Americans Initiative”.

According to Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, being a recognized leader in the identification, measurement, and elimination of healthcare disparities, the company has long invested in both research and programs designed to improve health of individuals and distinct populations. He adds that Kaiser Permanente is extremely proud to be associated with this effort and will work hard to raise awareness pertaining to dangers of high blood pressure.

Tyson states the ultimate goal is to reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes in African American communities. Considering what the company does, it can address the issue of preventable heart disease, strokes, and various other heard problems from a broad platform. By accomplishing this goal, lives will be saved, as stated by Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, AHA Deputy Chief Science Officer.

To better control high blood pressure, Kaiser Permanente has proven that clinic-based programs work. To complement this, the AHA has shown that community-based programs also work exceedingly well. For that reason, it makes perfect sense to combine the two approaches to controlling problems of high blood pressure.

Although there are several factors associated with this program, checking blood pressure levels on a regular basis is the most critical. Unfortunately, symptoms do not always show up, which is why this health risk is often referred to as the “silent killer”. With efforts of Kaiser Permanente and the AHA, health management will be much more effective.

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