May 6, 2019
Dr. Louanne Friend has been awarded a grant to continue her research in identifying patients at risk for or currently diagnosed with hypertension. The patients will be given the opportunity to enroll in an on-site or online training curriculum to develop lifestyle habits needed for self-monitoring and blood-pressure control.
Friend, assistant professor in the Department of Community Medicine and Population Health within the College of Community Health Sciences, has been working on this research for two years and in April was awarded a one-year grant of $20,000 from the American College of Preventative Medicine to push the project further. University Medical Center, which is operated by the College, is one of six applicants selected to receive funding.
The ACPM has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention to develop innovative proactive-setting models for addressing hypertension in African-American males ages 35-64, a group which statistically has disproportionately large numbers of high-blood pressure sufferers.
The ACPM program will continue for five years. Each year the participating grantees must pass a performance evaluation in order to continue receiving funding.
The grant year begins in August 2019. It will utilize, improve and expand the College’s already existing Hiding in Plain Sight: Hypertension program by setting standards and goals, implementing team huddles targeted at identifying potential study candidates, and partnering with the UMC Office of Case Management and Social Services to follow-through with blood pressure goals.
Friend said while the ACPM study focuses on a select group, UMC doctors can use the techniques and the revitalized model to help a much larger community.
The program will combine blood pressure monitoring education, access to a health tracking app with diet and fitness tips and recall visits that keep patients moving in the right direction.