Family Health selected for self-measured blood pressure program

February 3, 2022

Family Health selected for self-measured blood pressure program

MOBILE, Ala. — During October 2021, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH) issued a nationwide invitation for public and private sector organizations to become an OWH Self-Measured Blood Pressure (SMBP) Partner. The goal was to create a partner network that empowers women to maintain healthy blood pressure levels through self-monitoring.

Family Health, the primary care division of the Mobile County Health Department, has just been selected to be a part of the project. This will expand access to SMBP resources and encourage organizations to address heart health disparities, promote self-measured blood pressure control, and improve health equity on a community level. It represents a step forward in achieving Healthy People 2030’s goals, reducing deaths because of heart disease and stroke.

“Getting blood pressure cuffs in the hands of more women will enable them to monitor their own blood pressure levels. This expanded access will help to reduce and control high blood pressure, which is one of the most preventable causes of pregnancy-related deaths and overall mortality for women,” said Dr. Dorothy Fink, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women’s Health. “We look forward to collaborating with organizations from diverse sectors and building a network poised to improve heart health outcomes for women.”

More than 100 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease – the number one cause of death for women in the United States. Often high blood pressure is called a “silent killer” because women with the condition often show no symptoms. Early diagnosis and management are vital to reducing heart-related morbidity and mortality.

Self-measured blood pressure, also called self-monitoring, combined with health care provider support, are critical strategies to reduce hypertension and improve overall heart health. Self-measured blood pressure monitoring is also a component of Million Hearts, a national initiative led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes within five years. These efforts support the target set by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to achieve blood pressure control in 80 percent of women of reproductive age living with hypertension.

Since its inception in 1979, Family Health has provided services to the uninsured, underinsured, insured, and medically underserved populations of Mobile County. In addition to the general population, the center has also targeted special populations (such as migrant and seasonal workers, refuges, at-risk students, public housing residents, maternity patients and people living with HIV/AIDS.

Family Health’s dedicated healthcare providers, support staff and administrative staff are committed to providing numerous services via nine health centers across Mobile and Baldwin counties and a Mobile Medical Unit. Services provided include the following: primary care, behavioral health, HIV early intervention services, nutrition services, 340B pharmacy, social services, X-ray, dental, lab, interpretation, maternity, and family planning. Call 251-690-8889 for an appointment today.