American Heart Association and Partners Across New York Ask Residents to ‘Take the Pressure Off, NYC!’

Citywide effort aims to encourage New Yorkers to check their blood pressure and raise awareness during American Heart Month

The American Heart Association along with members of the Take the Pressure Off, NYC! Coalition utilized American Heart Month as a catalyst to raise awareness and encourage New Yorkers to check and know their blood pressure numbers. High blood pressure or hypertension is often called the silent killer because it usually has no symptoms, meaning that an individual may not know they have it. Experts agree that uncontrolled high blood pressure is dangerous and a major risk factor for heart disease, which is a leading cause of early death in New York City.

Take the Pressure Off, NYC! is a coalition of public, private and non-profit organizations committed to reducing the number of New Yorkers with raised blood pressure by 150,000 by 2022.

“The American Heart Association is proud to be part of this important initiative. We have identified blood pressure management as one of our priority health topics for New York City,” said Meg Gilmartin, Executive Director, American Heart Association, NYC. “In the last few months, we provided a blood pressure self-monitoring kiosk at the Campaign Against Hunger’s main office in Brooklyn, started a blood pressure self-monitoring cuff loaner program at the Queens Public Library in Far Rockaway and we will continue to partner with institutions across the five boroughs to reduce hypertension-related mortality. We hope that through our combined efforts, more residents will utilize these resources and take control of their heart health!”

The American Heart Association recommends regular monitoring for all people with high blood pressure to help the healthcare provider determine whether treatments are working.

“United Way of New York City is proud to work with the NYC DOHMH and the American Heart Association to raise awareness about blood pressure management. Members of our team have pledged to know their numbers and get their BP checked this American Heart Month,” said Sylvia Pong, RD CDN, Director of Nutrition Programs, United Way of New York City.

“Our members, like so many New Yorkers, are affected by this silent killer — even though they are frontline health care workers,” said Van H. Dunn, MD, Chief Medical Officer, 1199SEIU Benefit and Pension Funds. “That’s why our participation in the task force is so important along with the workplace health fairs, workshops and online tools we use to give members the information and support they need to make lifestyle choices to help prevent or treat hypertension.”

“Most people living with HIV now actually die from cardiovascular disease, and many would benefit from several primary care-based interventions, including Aspirin when appropriate, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol treatment, and Smoking Cessation (the ‘ABCS’).  With NHLBI funding, Clinical Directors Network (CDN) and our partners at University of Rochester and Parkland Hospital, we are supporting the American Heart Association’s and NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s efforts to improve access to preventive cardiovascular care, by teaching better blood pressure measurement techniques for health center staff and home blood pressure self-monitoring for patients.  We are also working with our partners at Carter Burden Network (CBN) and Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Science with funding from the DHHS Administration for Community Living, to improve blood pressure control for low-income NYC elderly by disseminating evidence-based interventions in the senior services setting, including helping the CBN staff to implement and serve DASH-compatible meals for seniors who receive some of meals from CBN and by providing free home blood pressure monitors and training,” reports Jonathan N. Tobin, PhD, President/CEO of Clinical Directors Network and Senior Epidemiologist, The Rockefeller University.

“Bethel Hamliri, Inc is proud to work with the NYC DOHMH and the American Heart Association to raise awareness about blood pressure management. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Our constituents face significantly higher rates of hypertension. Our staff have pledged to help our community members know their numbers and get their BP checked this American Heart Month,” said Franck Kabore, CEO, Bethel Hamliri,Inc, Nurse, Master Trainer for Chronic Disease self-Management.

“We face significant racial disparities in our community for premature death due to heart disease and stroke. We are committed to the TPO campaign so we can help reduce the risk factors for high blood pressure in our community. Improving access to healthy food and other lifestyle changes are also important to this campaign.” Harvey Lawrence, CEO, BMS Family Health and Wellness Centers.

“The Diana Jones Senior Center/ RiseBoro Community Partnership is excited to announce our efforts during American Heart Month. As a member of the TPO,NYC! Coalition, we pledge to offer heart health workshops along with increased access to blood pressure checks. We’ve seen a great difference in our members already,” said Rochelle Pacheco, Wellness Coordinator. “We hope to see many older adults taking charge of their health.”

“To make a significant impact on the prevention and control of hypertension across NYC, especially in communities where the burden of heart disease and stroke are the highest, requires a collaborative and innovative approach. The New York Academy of Medicine is proud to partner with the members of the Take the Pressure Off, NYC! Coalition to raise awareness about hypertension and related resources throughout the city, both during the #HeartHealthyNYC campaign this month and year-round,” said Judith A. Salerno, MD, MS, President, The New York Academy of Medicine.

“High blood pressure is a public health crisis that kills one in five New Yorkers under 65. To combat this silent killer, we need to use our individual and collective voices to bring the conversation about heart-healthy habits into places we all encounter in our daily lives. F.Y. Eye is proud to donate ad space on our digital PSA Network to raise awareness about heart healthy behaviors and we encourage other local and national media agencies to join us in this effort,” said Nina Robbins, Program Director, F.Y Eye, Inc.

“People living with lifelong chronic conditions like inflammatory forms of arthritis are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease. We wholeheartedly support the efforts of the American Heart Association and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to educate New York City residents about the dangers of high blood pressure and strategies for improving personal and community health outcomes. The Global Healthy Living Foundation is honored and energized to support this comprehensive initiative.” Seth Ginsberg, President and Co-Founder, Global Healthy Living Foundation.

“Greater New York Hospital Association proudly supports its member hospitals’ efforts in February to promote heart health to their patients and communities,” said Lloyd C. Bishop, Senior Vice, President & Executive Director, Center on Community Health, Diversity, and Health Equity.

This awareness campaign aims to encourage all New Yorkers to check their blood pressure.  Blood pressure checks can help individuals become aware of their blood pressure numbers and risk for hypertension. Free blood pressure check sites can be found by using the NYC Health Map and selecting “blood pressure.”

One way the TPO, NYC! Coalition is working to reduce high blood pressure inequities is by increasing access to free blood pressure checks for all New Yorkers. Find local sites to check your blood pressure at


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases.


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