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In Recognition of American Heart Month New Blood Pressure Control Guidance Released

February 11, 2015
Keene, NH

Rudy Fedrizzi, MD

Rudy Fedrizzi, MD, Director of Community Health Clinical Integration at CMC/DHK

In recognition of American Heart Month, Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene (CMC/DHK) and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are pleased to announce the release of Ten Steps for Improving Blood Pressure Control in New Hampshire: A Practical Guide for Clinicians and Community Partners. The manual was primarily authored by Rudy Fedrizzi, MD, of CMC/DHK and Kimberly Persson, MSW, of the Institute for Health Policy and Practice at the University of New Hampshire. This guide details how clinicians and communities can work together to improve hypertension throughout the State.

The New Hampshire Million Hearts Learning Collaborative developed the Ten Steps, a step-by-step manual to guide practitioners, nurses, quality improvement personnel and practice administrators in improving blood pressure control in clinical practice and through community outreach. The manual is based on the key strategies that CMC/DHK implemented to improve blood pressure control for its more than 12,000 patients with hypertension.  CMC/DHK was named one of nine 2013 National Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champions for achieving nearly 85 percent of patients with adequate blood pressures control below 140/90.  Nationwide only 50 percent of patients have their blood pressure under adequate control.

“When combined, these ten steps provide a comprehensive, proven approach to improving hypertension control rates for any practice and community,” stated Rudy Fedrizzi, MD, director of community health clinical integration at CMC/DHK.

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a common and dangerous condition. It increases a patient’s risk for heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in New Hampshire. Almost 2,000 people died in New Hampshire due to coronary heart disease or heart attacks in 2012. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the State causing an additional 438 deaths in 2012. Whereas cancer is the number one cause of death in most of NH, for Cheshire County cardiovascular diseases are the major cause of mortality and morbidity.

In October 2013, DHHS, along with nine other states and the District of Columbia, was awarded a Million Hearts funding grant by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), with seed money from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Million Hearts is a national initiative working to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

The manual unveiled today distills the lessons learned from the New Hampshire’s Million Hearts Learning Collaborative. New Hampshire’s Million Hearts Learning Collaborative partners include:

  • DHHS Division of Public Health Services
  • Institute for Health Policy and Practice at the University of New Hampshire
  • Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene
  • City of Manchester Health Department
  • Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services, and
  • Lamprey Health Care – Nashua (LHC-N)

The guide can be found at http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdpc/documents/tensteps-bpcontrol.pdf. An interactive, half-day workshop to support practitioners and practice administrators in implementing the guide’s strategies is scheduled for Thursday, March 26 from 9 a.m. – noon at the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, Granite State Conference Room, 7 Hazen Drive in Concord. To register, go to http://chhs.unh.edu/ihpp/public-health-and-health-promotion.

Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene is a nonprofit community hospital and clinic with a mission to lead our community to become the nation’s healthiest through our clinical and service excellence, collaboration, and compassion for every patient, every time. Founded by CMC/DHK, Healthy Monadnock 2020 is a community-wide health initiative designed to actively engage the citizens of Cheshire County in the process of becoming the nation’s healthiest community by 2020. To learn more, call 603-354-5400 or visit cheshiremed.org.

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