A new program to create a network of organizations committed to helping women maintain healthy blood pressure levels at every age.
This week the HHS Office on Women’s Health (OWH) issued a nationwide invitation for public and private sector organizations to become an OWH Self-Measured Blood Pressure (SMBP) Partner. The goal: create a partner network that empowers women to maintain healthy blood pressure levels through self-monitoring.
More than 100 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease – the number one cause of death for women in the United States. Often high blood pressure is called a “silent killer” because women with the condition often show no symptoms. Early diagnosis and management are vital to reducing heart-related morbidity and mortality.
Self-measured blood pressure, also called self-monitoring, combined with health care provider support, are critical strategies to reduce hypertension and improve overall heart health. Self-measured blood pressure monitoring is also a component of Million Hearts, a national initiative led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes within 5 years. These efforts support the target set by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to achieve blood pressure control in 80 percent of women of reproductive age living with hypertension.
The new OWH program will expand access to SMBP resources and encourage organizations to address heart health disparities, promote self-measured blood pressure control, and improve health equity on a community level. It represents a step forward in achieving Healthy People 2030’s goals, reducing deaths due to heart disease and stroke.
"Getting blood pressure cuffs in the hands of more women will enable them to monitor their own blood pressure levels. This expanded access will help to reduce and control high blood pressure, which is one of the most preventable causes of pregnancy-related deaths and overall mortality for women." said Dorothy Fink, M.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Women’s Health. "We look forward to collaborating with organizations from diverse sectors and building a network poised to improve heart health outcomes for women."
How organizations can apply to become an SMBP Partner:
Any public or private organization may apply to be an SMBP Program partner, including those at the state, local, county, and tribal levels. Non-governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, businesses, academic organizations, organizations that impact health outcomes, philanthropic organizations, and tribal organizations that identify themselves as being aligned with or promoting the goals of the SMBP Program are also qualified. Individuals are not eligible.
Organizations should submit a letter of interest describing how they support or plan to support the SMBP Partnership Program’s goals. Detailed information, including activities that may be considered an organization’s demonstrated commitment to the SMBP Program’s goals, is listed in the SMBP Partnership Program Federal Register Notice. Letters of interest will be accepted starting October 1, 2021, and afterward on a rolling basis.
Letters should be submitted to: OWHBPPartner@hhs.gov.