Citrus Health Network Named a 2017 Million Hearts Hypertension Control Champion


2017 Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge Champion Badge

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that Citrus Health Network was selected as one of 24 winners of the 2017 Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge nationwide. 

The Champions, who provide care to more than 1.2 million adults, focused on proven strategies to help their patients achieve blood pressure control at rates at or above the Million Hearts® target of 70 percent.

“Too many Americans have high blood pressure, putting them at greater risk for a heart attack, stroke, dementia and other serious health threats,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “Controlling blood pressure is one of the most effective ways to keep people healthy. We applaud these Champions for such great progress.”

Nearly 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart disease and strokes. Less than half of adults with high blood pressure have their condition under control. Even more alarming, millions of Americans have high blood pressure that is undiagnosed or untreated.

The Million Hearts initiative began a new five-year phase called Million Hearts 2022, with a renewed focus on keeping people healthy, optimizing care, and improving outcomes for priority populations.

“We are excited to host this Challenge and showcase successful strategies used by our 2017 Champions to keep blood pressure under safe control, prevent heart attacks and strokes, and save lives,” said Janet Wright, M.D., a board-certified cardiologist and executive director of Million Hearts. “We had a higher than ever number of entrants this year, and we hope that these Champions inspire teams all over the country to make hypertension control a priority. We are already looking forward to celebrating the achievements of future Champions in the years to come.”

To be eligible, entrants shared verifiable high blood pressure control data on their patients. They highlighted successful strategies and best practices adopted by the practice or system, such as the use of health information technology and team-based care. All Champions achieved control rates of 70 percent or greater for their adult patients by using a variety of approaches, including:

·       Making high blood pressure control a priority.

·       Using evidence-based treatment guidelines and protocols.

·       Using health care teams to increase the frequency of contact with patients.

·       Consistently and strategically using electronic health records that include clinical decision support tools, patient reminders, and registry functionality.

·       Staying engaged with patients by offering free blood pressure checks and using a patient navigator, care coordinator, and home monitoring of blood pressure.

Million Hearts is a national initiative, co-led by the CDC and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes between 2017 and 2022. Saving lives through better blood pressure control has been a longstanding CDC priority. CDC recognizes the Champions’ performance and shares their lessons learned to inspire others to focus on achieving similar success.

For more information about the initiative and resources, visit