Pictured (L to R) are Rebecca Schmitt (Dodge) Library Director for Spring Valley Public Library and Rose Breslin, Vibrant Health Family Clinics Care Coordinator. Submitted photo
Pictured (L to R) are Rebecca Schmitt (Dodge) Library Director for Spring Valley Public Library and Rose Breslin, Vibrant Health Family Clinics Care Coordinator. Submitted photo

Submitted by Samantha Bluhm, Vibrant Health Family Clinics

RIVER FALLS, WI – Through a grant from the Pierce County Aging and Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), Vibrant Health Family Clinics began a project to expand residents’ access and ability to self-monitor their blood pressure.

To address the incidence of high blood pressure, Vibrant Health collaborated with the River Falls, Ellsworth and Spring Valley library systems and the Pierce County ADRC to create a kit containing a blood pressure monitor/cuff, instructions, educational material about blood pressure, and a blood pressure tracking card. Residents are able to check out a kit for two weeks at a time and keep the resources that are supplied in the kits at no cost. After being returned to the library, employees replenish any resources that have been taken and clean the monitor and cuff.

The kits allow for River Falls, Spring Valley and Ellsworth residents to take control of their blood pressure monitoring and be aware of their blood pressure outside of a medical facility. Having the kits available at the libraries allows access to more residents than a stationary monitor at a location such as a local drug store or pharmacy. It also encourages self-monitoring of blood pressure and reaffirms the importance of checking your blood pressure. This will serve as a resource for patients who may not be able to afford a monitor or who need one at home for only a short time.

With the encouragement of self-monitoring blood pressure kit, residents can keep track of their blood pressure numbers and share a two-week snapshot with their physicians and other health-care providers. Having the two-week snapshot allows residents to see a more accurate picture of their blood pressure and take in to account the variables that can affect it, such as exercise, stress, caffeine, and “white-coat syndrome.” Such variables are difficult to discern through a single reading at one time or in one setting, such as during a health care visit. The use of a self-monitoring blood pressure kit allows residents to monitor high blood pressure, keep track of blood pressure readings between physician visits, and potentially discover a blood pressure issue that otherwise would have gone undetected until visiting their healthcare provider.

For more information about the importance and tips for helping control blood pressure, read the importance of controlling high blood pressure (vibranthealthclinics.com/high-blood-pressure-risks-are-real-7-tips-to-prevent-high-blood-pressure), or for information about Vibrant Health, visit VibrantHealthClinics.com.