February 11, 2014
Concord, NH – Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene (CMC/DHK) was recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a Million Hearts 2013 Hypertension Control Champion. CMC/DHK was one of more than 60 practices around the country nominated for the award and one of only nine chosen for their work with patients to help them control their blood pressure and in preventing heart attacks and strokes.
Nearly 1 in 3 adults in the United States has high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, but fewer than half of them have it under control. CMC/DHK was recognized for implementing a new initiative that has improved control (blood pressure readings of less than 140/90) among its patients from 69% in 2010 to over 84% in 2013.
"I am extremely proud of the work the physicians and staff here at Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene have put into this program," said Don Caruso, MD, MPH, Medical Director at CMC/DHK. "This is an excellent illustration of our goal to lead by example and this has gone a long way toward improving the health of our community inside and outside the facility."
An interdisciplinary team worked together at CMC/DHK to create a coordinated approach across all of their primary care offices and specialty departments. Some of the steps this group put into place were new equipment and education protocols, a Hypertension Registry, no-cost Nurse Clinic check-ups for high readings, and new patient education materials.
"Congratulations to Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene for their innovative thinking and dedication to improving the rates of high blood pressure in their community," said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). "Hypertension and heart disease are a critical health issue that we must all work to tackle, so it is especially rewarding to be able to recognize CMC/DHK for their hard work."
For more information about the 2013 Hypertension Control Challenge and the 2013 Champions, visit http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/newsevents/hypertension_control_champions.html. For more information about controlling high blood pressure and its effects, visit the DHHS website at http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdpc/hdsp.htm and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov. For more on the CMC/CHK initiative, visit www.cheshiremed.org.