Hypertension, also known as High Blood Pressure, is the Leading Cause of Stroke and Disability in the United States
34.6% of Delawareans have hypertension (or high blood pressure), which is the leading cause of stroke. The state of Delaware has the 4th largest rate of mortality from stroke in the entire US.
The American Heart Association has gathered a group of advocates, hospital and private practice representatives, like-minded nonprofit organizations, physicians, and nurses to form the Delaware Hypertension Control Network. The group’s goal is to change the trajectory of the health of Delawareans and to achieve more than 70% or greater hypertension control across the state by 2024.
In addition to the American Heart Association, these organizations have agreed to collaborate to prioritize the health of the people of our state: African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E); ; Bayhealth; Beebe Healthcare; ChristianaCare; Delaware Department of Health; Delaware Division of Libraries; Encompass Health; Henrietta Johnson Medical Center; JP Morgan Chase; Mountaire Farms; Quality Insights; St. Francis Healthcare; University of Delaware.
The Delaware Hypertension Control Network is supported by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware, The Happy Difference Foundation, The M&T Charitable Foundation, as well as E. Thomas “Thom” Harvey, III and Robin Adair Harvey. Thom Harvey, CEO and Chairman of Harvey Hanna & Associations, Inc., has been personally impacted by the effects of stroke. “High blood pressure is an epidemic across the state of Delaware, and we know that we can do better,” says Mr. Harvey. “Hispanics and African are 50- 60% more likely to have a stroke due to family history and social determinants of health, like access to quality care and nutritious food. The collective efforts of this group can make a huge impact on the health of people in our state.”
With a multi-pronged effort to raise awareness about blood pressure symptoms and educate residents state-wide about how to prevent, treat and manage blood pressure over a three-year period, the Delaware Hypertension Control Network aims to lower the percentage of residents in the state who have high blood pressure, and ultimately lower the risk of stroke in Delaware. The three key areas of focus of the Network include:
- Increase hypertension control through screening and follow up.
- Establish best practices at primary care offices and FWHC’s and health systems across the state.
- Collect meaningful data to improve patient quality around hypertension in the state.
Learn how to monitor your blood pressure at home. Visit https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/understanding-blood-pressure-readings/monitoring-your-blood-pressure-at-home
Theresa Spencer is award-winning communications strategist and public relations professional. She is a creative thinker and innovative in her approach to create collaborative opportunities for others and most importantly, can motivate people around her to turn their ideas into reality. I design and drive communications and branding strategies to advance the American Heart Association objectives, initiatives and programs.