ECHN’s Partnership With Eastern Highlands Health District Will Help Tolland County Residents Control Their Blood Pressure

Jul 16, 2014 - 

Eastern Connecticut Health Network (ECHN) has recently joined in partnership with Eastern Highlands Health District (EHHD) to introduce a self-blood pressure monitoring program to hypertensive patients who reside in Tolland County. This new Tolland County Hypertension Control Program combines home blood pressure monitoring with conventional and functional medicine approaches.

Medical supervision at ECHN will be provided by Charles DeLaCuadra, DO, Medical Director, Eastern Connecticut Family Health Center, and Chad McDonald, DO, Chief Resident of Eastern Connecticut Family Medicine Residency Program. Technical assistance will be provided by The Community Health Center, Inc. of Middletown, where this program was originally piloted.   

Nurses from ECHN, including Visiting Nurse & Health Services of Connecticut, have been specially trained and will act as intermediaries between clinicians and patients, providing real-time disease management, medication adjustment, and care coordination. Patients with a history of uncontrolled hypertension will be selected and trained on how to use home blood pressure monitoring equipment and record results. Self-management practices will emphasize patient empowerment, goal-setting, and problem-solving skills.

Recent studies have shown that with a little help from clinicians, self-monitored blood pressure programs can be a useful tool in lowering blood pressure, and possibly lowering the risk of cardiovascular events, at least for the short term. Left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can lead to stroke, eye and kidney damage, heart disease and disability.

“Our goal is to empower and engage 50 patients to actively measure, monitor, and maintain their blood pressure,” said Dr. DeLaCuadra. “We are pleased to be part of this important health initiative.”

Funding for this initiative comes from the Community Transformation Grant (CTG). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded 61 Community Transformation Grants in 2011 to counties and states across the nation to reduce the burden of chronic disease and eliminate health disparities through policy, systems, and environmental changes to increase opportunities for healthy living.  The State of Connecticut Department of Public Health was awarded one of these grants to work with five counties (Litchfield, Tolland, Middlesex, Windham, and New London).

The Tolland County Hypertension Control Program is a partnership among ECHN; Visiting Nurse & Health Services of Connecticut, Inc.; Eastern Highlands Health District; North Central District Health Department; Chatham Health District; Community Health Center, Inc. of Middletown; M3 Consulting; and BOSCH, which donated blood pressure cuffs.

For more information about the program, please contact Dr. Charles DeLaCuadra, DO, at 860.533.4673.
 


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