- More than 32% of Rhode Island adults said they had been diagnosed with high blood pressure in 2015
- If left untreated, high blood pressure can increase a person’s risk of heart disease and stroke
Check to Change is launching this year and is a new one-day event in which the Southern New England American Heart Association and community partners join together to provide free blood pressure screenings in Southern New England.
Nearly half of all Americans have high blood pressure and millions of them do not have their condition under control. If left untreated, high blood pressure can increase a person’s risk of heart disease and stroke.
Check to Change addresses the critical need to lower blood pressure which is a serious concern in Southern New England. In 2015, 32.4% of Rhode Island adults (273,600 people), said they had been diagnosed with high blood pressure (HBP) and Providence has high blood pressure rates with many areas reporting a greater than 35% prevalence of high blood pressure among adults 18 and older.
High blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) is when your blood pressure, the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels, is consistently too high.
In order to survive and function properly, your tissues and organs need the oxygenated blood that your circulatory system carries throughout the body. When the heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes blood through a network of tube-shaped blood vessels, which include arteries, veins and capillaries.
This pressure — blood pressure — is the result of two forces: The first force (systolic pressure) occurs as blood pumps out of the heart and into the arteries that are part of the circulatory system. The second force (diastolic pressure) is created as the heart rests between heart beats. (These two forces are each represented by numbers in a blood pressure reading.) See how high blood pressure can damage your arteries and heart.
This year’s Check to Change event will take place on World Hypertension Day, May 17, 2019, at various locations including URI’s Student Union located at 50 Lower College Road in Kingston, RI (11 am – 1 pm), Crossroads at 160 Broad St. in Providence, RI 02903 (1:30 pm – 3 pm), Amos House at 460 Pine St. in Providence, RI (11:30 am – 1 pm), Blue Cross & Blue Shield RI at 300 Quaker Lane in Warwick, RI, Blue Cross & Blue Shield RI at 71 Highland Avenue in East Providence, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI at 622 George Washington Highway in Lincoln (All Blue Cross & Blue Shield RI Locations from 9 am – 11 am) Landmark Occupational & Employee Health Office 176 Cass Avenue, Woonsocket, RI (from 9 am – 3 pm), Southcoast Health Walmart 42 Fairhaven Commons Way, Fairhaven, MA (10 am – 4 pm). Let’s help our community get to know their blood pressure numbers and take charge of their own heart health. The community with the greatest number of blood pressure screenings will win a Heart Healthy Celebration.
If individuals or organizations want to host the Check to Change Screenings, please contact Southern New England American Heart Association Executive Director Tara Comer at Tara.Comer@Heart.org or call her at 401-228-2325.
For participating organizations: You will need to provide
- Medical Volunteers to conduct blood pressure screening.
- General Volunteers to guide individuals through the screening process and distribute educational materials
- Blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes
- Tables and chairs (two chairs per medical personnel) so those being screened can sit
- Clipboards, pens and/or pencils
The American Heart Association will provide:
- Check to Change Toolkit which includes flyers, shareable social media messages, form to enter Check to Change Challenge, and sample education materials.
- Release forms if you do not have your own
- Wallet-size blood pressure trackers
- BP cuffs (provided upon request)
- Check to Change sign or banner
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.