Help Spread the Word!: 

Health Focus: Cardiac Health

Description: The TMF Quality Innovation Network Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO), which works with health care providers and facilities in Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Puerto Rico, has partnered with Greater Grace Church and a large health care provider system to lower blood pressure within the St. Louis area using the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Check.Change.Control blood pressure program. Check.Change.Control focuses on educating participants about blood pressure and how to monitor and manage it. As a subcontractor to TMF Health Quality Institute, Primaris serves as the QIN-QIO’s on-ground staff in Missouri.

The staff in Missouri work with churches and other faith-based organizations to provide them with tools and resources to educate their parishioners and others in the community about how to correctly monitor their blood pressure, what constitutes a heart-healthy diet and other tips. The TMF QIN-QIO staff coordinates with church volunteers to help conduct blood pressure screenings and works with health care system staff to identify local and AHA resources to help church members live a healthier lifestyle.

Following initial blood pressure screenings, local volunteer health mentors, which TMF QIN-QIO staff have trained, follow up with participants and encourage them to continue monitoring their blood pressure and tracking their numbers. As a complement to the screening, the TMF QIN-QIO also offers diabetes self-management education through the Health for Life – Everyone with Diabetes Counts initiative, since high blood pressure is a risk factor for developing diabetes. 

Results: During the first phase of the project, 45 church members took advantage of the Check.Change.Control program, and almost half continue to monitor their blood pressure monthly. The TMF QIN-QIO aims to increase the participant group to 100 during the next phase of the project, Spring into Better Health,” which is slated to begin in March 2016.