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The American Heart Association’s mission is to be a relentless force for a world of longer healthier lives. For millions of Americans, hypertension is a significant barrier in achieving that reality for themselves and the burden of high blood pressure is not carried equitably across the population. Among other health challenges, rural Americans face higher rates of hypertension with CMS identifying uncontrolled hypertension among diabetic patients as one of the biggest disparities between urban and rural populations. The dangers associated with high blood pressure, always relevant when talking about heart, brain, and kidney health, became even more dramatic as we saw underlying conditions exacerbate the impact of COVID-19.

The American Heart Association is offering grants up to $2000* for efforts to improve accurate blood pressure measurement. If interested, complete this application which seeks input on current evidence-based strategies that may be  in place. The application also requires a 500-word maximum description of how the provided funds will enable you to work towards more accurate blood pressure measurement.

Submission deadline is September 19, 2022.

AHA Application

The American Heart Association is currently funding to provide support for up to four rural (Am I Rural?) health care organizations that share their commitment to address chronic disease in at-risk populations and that see accurate measurement policies/practices as a key to doing so. As a condition of eligibility and because they are seeking to support and measure sustainable change, healthcare organizations who have not done so previously, MUST REGISTER for Target: BP by September 19, 2022 and commit to making 2023 data submission for the same a priority.

The American Heart Association is committed to both health equity and hypertension control. Together with the American Medical Association, they launched Target: BP with the goal of helping health care organizations  develop the policies, systems, and practices that have been shown to move the needle on high blood pressure. Using the MAP Framework, Target: BP has provided more than a 1000 healthcare organizations with resources and support while also recognizing their commitment and success.

The “M” in MAP stands for “Measure Accurately.” Achieving accurate measurement is the foundation of any diagnosis and treatment of HBP. Improvement can happen in both the clinical setting (where evidence suggests that about 90% of current readings have some degree of error) and by increased utilization of effective, Self-Measured Blood Pressure (SMBP).

Specifically, Target: BP has identified six evidence based strategies to improve accurate measurement – and thus sustainable HBP control.

  • Calibration of existing inventory according to the manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Increased utilization of validated, automated devices in the clinic
  • Standardized staff training on accurate measurement every 6 to 12 months.
  • Competency evaluation of staff measurement skills every 6 to 12 months
  • Adoption of standard protocols for SMBP (and/or confirmatory readings in the office)
  • Placement of positioning poster/educational materials where BP readings are conducted.

Questions: Contact Tim Nikolai, Sr. Rural Health Director, American Heart Association, Midwest Region – tim.nikolai@heart.org

*As a combination of materials/resources and funding to maximize impact. Exact combination TBD based
on needs/priorities.

Target: BP is a national initiative formed by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) in response to the high prevalence of uncontrolled blood pressure (BP). Target: BP helps health care organizations and care teams, at no cost, improve BP control rates through an evidence-based quality improvement program and recognizes organizations committed to improving BP control.