In February, the NC Alliance of YMCAs and five NC YMCA associations kicked off the YUSA-funded Hypertension Control Grant to achieve a 25% increase in Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program (BPSM) offerings, a 25% increase in referrals and a 25% increase in BPSM enrollments.
Angela Rogers, Community Integrated Health consultant for the Alliance, and staff from the Cleveland County YMCA, the Williams YMCA of Avery County, the YMCA of Greensboro, YMCA of Northwest North Carolina and YMCA of Southeastern North Carolina gathered to develop their asset map, identify stakeholders, define their communities of need and prioritize outreach options.
The Williams Avery Y was selected as the Champion Y to work closely with Rogers and the Ys to help with programming, marketing, partnerships and referrals to the program because of its local success in implementing BPSM.
“Through the Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring program, we have been able to help more than 500 participants in Avery County control their blood pressure and improve their health, said Bonnie Clark, Director of Healthy Living at the Williams YMCA of Avery County. “We’re eager to expand this work through the grant and support our fellow NC Ys in increasing BPSM enrollments.”
BPSM is one of the Y’s evidence-based health initiatives; research shows that the simple practice of recording blood pressure at least twice a month over a period of four months lowers blood pressure, which in turn, reduces the risk for heart disease and stroke.