YMCA Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program: TAKE ACTION FOR HEART HEALTH
by Caroline Rankin, MPH, Executive Director of Health Innovations, YMCA of Central Ohio
The YMCA of Central Ohio has been a leading force in Health and Wellness for nearly 160 years. The YMCA has been unafraid to take on life's many challenges including chronic disease, child abuse, and homelessness by offering wellness programs, child care, and housing.
Individuals come to the Y because we are a trusted community organization and can provide programming to support a healthier lifestyle. With approximately 1 in every 3 adults or 75 million American adults having been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure the YMCA provides the Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program. The four month program helps adults with hypertension lower and manage their blood pressure. The program focuses on regulated home self- monitoring using proper measuring techniques, individualize support and nutrition education for better blood pressure management. With the support from a trained Health Heart Ambassador a participant measures and records their blood pressure at least two times per month with a BP cuff that is provided, attend two personalized consultation per month and monthly nutritional sessions.
Research shows that the process of recording blood pressure at least twice a month over a period of four months has been shown to lower blood pressure in many people with high blood pressure.
Goals of the program include
The YMCA of Central Ohio began offering the Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring program in September 2018. The program is offered at YMCA branches, employer sites and community locations. The program is fee based and with the support of the Ohio Department of Health funding is available to support individuals at 200% or below the poverty level. In 2020 the Y will begin piloting this program with an insurer to serve a selected number of individuals with diagnosed hypertension.
A group of male residents living at the downtown Y participated in the program. The Healthy Heart Ambassador went to the Y to hold the bi-weekly check-ins and lead the monthly nutritional sessions. Joe, one of the residents shared he did not realize how serious HP pressure was and how much it impacted his health. He participated in the program to learn how to better manage his hypertension. Through the program he gained greater knowledge on his health, diet and sodium intake. He now reaches for the label and not the salt shaker. During the four months he shared his blood pressure was checked more than it had been the entire year prior. He sees taking his blood pressure as a necessity, not an inconvenience.
If you are interested in learning more on the program or how to get someone enroll please contact Caroline Rankin at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit