Public Release:  Weill Cornell joins 'Measure Up, Pressure Down' national campaign for high blood pressure

New York- Presbyterian Hospital

NEW YORK (Nov. 29, 2012) -- The Weill Cornell Physician Organization at Weill Cornell Medical College has joined more than 120 medical groups and health systems nationwide to launch the new health campaign Measure Up, Pressure Down aimed to improve high blood pressure prevention, detection and control. As part of the new campaign, organizations, such as Weill Cornell, have pledged to work toward achieving a goal of having 80 percent of high blood pressure patients in control of their condition by 2016.

"Weill Cornell Physician Organization is committed to improving the health of our hypertension patients and helping to reduce the national burden of high blood pressure -- the leading cause of stroke and heart disease," says Dr. Adam Stracher, leader of the Measure Up, Pressure Down campaign at Weill Cornell and director of the Primary Care Division of the Weill Cornell Physician Organization at Weill Cornell Medical College. "The new campaign wishes to ensure that every time a patient with elevated blood pressure touches the health care system, they get the education, monitoring, necessary medication and medical follow-up they need to properly manage and improve their health."

According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, one in three -- or 68 million -- U.S. adults have high blood pressure, and less than half of patients have their condition adequately controlled. High blood pressure contributes to nearly 1,000 deaths a day and accounts for an estimated $156 billion in health care services, medications and lost productivity. The CDC study states that the most effective way to control high blood pressure is for the patient to receive care from a coordinated team of health professionals.

This team-based approach is the catalyst behind the Measure Up, Pressure Down campaign launched by the American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF), the nonprofit education and research arm of the American Medical Group Association (AMGA), which represents health care professionals and groups that deliver health care to nearly one in three Americans.

"Hypertension is one of the leading causes for patient visits to physician offices and a major culprit of chronic illness in our nation," says Dr. Stracher, who is also an associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and an associate attending physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "However, high blood pressure is a condition that can be well managed and controlled, with patients living normal lives, if they are closely monitored by their physician, self-monitor and adhere to their prescribed medications and lifestyle modifications, including a healthy diet and daily exercise."

Weill Cornell and other Measure Up, Pressure Down participants have pledged to work toward achieving the campaign's goal by adopting one or more care processes known to improve patient outcomes. Weill Cornell Physician Organization plans to integrate its new care management program with the campaign to proactively identify and track its patients whose blood pressure is high and currently uncontrolled to intervene to improve their health. Groups will also report their progress on achieving better outcomes for patients.

Measure Up, Pressure Down will also engage patients, employers and other key stakeholders in a wide-reaching effort to raise awareness and empower individuals and communities to tackle one of the nation's most important public health challenges. Supporting organizations include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Million Hearts initiative, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Association of Black Cardiologists.

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More information about Measure Up, Pressure Down is available at www.measureuppressuredown.com.

About AMGF

The American Medical Group Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the AMGA. As a nonprofit 501(C)(3) organization, its mission is to foster quality improvement in group practice through education and research programs in clinical quality, patient safety, service, operational efficiency and innovation. In addition to research and demonstration projects, the Foundation helps support learning collaboratives and presents educational grants and awards to medical groups that demonstrate improvements in practice, quality, and patient care. www.amga.org/foundation

About AMGA

The American Medical Group Association represents some of the nation's largest, most prestigious medical practices, independent practice associations, accountable care organizations and integrated health care delivery systems. AMGA's mission is to support its members in enhancing population health and care for patients through integrated systems of care. More than 125,000 physicians practice in AMGA member organizations, providing healthcare services for 130 million patients (nearly one in three Americans). Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMGA is the strategic partner for these organizations, providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs, publications, benchmarking data services and financial and operations assistance. www.amga.org

About Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University's medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances -- including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, and most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with the Methodist Hospital in Houston. For more information, visit weill.cornell.edu.

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