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St. Joseph’s Health is First in Upstate NY to Earn National Recognition for Efforts Aimed at Reducing Heart Attacks and Strokes


Syracuse, NY (February 7, 2018) – The American Heart Association and American Medical Association have announced the 310 physician practices and health systems nationwide being recognized for their commitment to reducing the heart attacks and strokes that result from adults with uncontrolled blood pressure and improving health outcomes associated with heart disease. St. Joseph’s Health is among this group of first-time recipients, and is the only organization in Upstate New York to receive the AHA and AMA’s Target: BP™ Recognition Program award.   

Launched in 2017, the Target: BP Recognition Program is an extension of the national Target: BP initiative between the AHA and AMA aimed at addressing the growing burden of high blood pressure in the U.S.   

“Of the 103 million Americans with high blood pressure, only about half of them have it controlled to a healthy level despite the fact that high blood pressure can often be managed effectively when patients work with their physician to create and follow a treatment plan,” said Peggy Thomas, MSN, RN Administrator for Surgical and Invasive Services at St. Joseph’s Health. “No single risk factor has more impact on the nation’s death rates from cardiovascular disease than blood pressure.”

To help physician practices and health systems achieve their goals, Target: BP™ provides all participants with an evidence-based improvement program that includes tools and resources to help clinicians improve blood pressure control rates. To facilitate easy and seamless adoption of the Target: BP™ Improvement Program, registrants have access to trained support specialists who can help identify specific program components to incorporate into clinical practice.  

“While high blood pressure is an easy condition to treat in that we have the tools to do so, there are many variables and barriers to success for many patients,” said AMA President David O. Barbe, M.D. “The AHA and AMA developed and piloted the Target: BP program to help bring patients and health care providers together to successfully get blood pressure under control, and help patients keep it controlled. We applaud the providers who are already working hard to control their patients’ blood pressure, and we will continue to urge more physician practices, health systems and patients to join this effort to prioritize blood pressure control and increase the national control of blood pressure. Together, we can save many more lives and improve health outcomes nationwide.” 

“We’re excited to bring Target: BP to physicians as a tool to help reduce the devastating impact of high blood pressure in terms of heart disease and stroke, and we’re proud to recognize practices that are joining us to increase focus on blood pressure control,” said AHA President John Warner, M.D. 

St. Joseph’s Health was honored today during the AHA Board meeting in Syracuse, and will also be featured in upcoming Target: BP materials. This includes appearing in print ads, on TargetBP.org, and the Target: BP Wall of Recognition that will be displayed at AMA and AHA events throughout the year.



 From L to R: American Heart Association Executive Director Franklin Fry, American Heart Association SVP of Field Operations and Development Stephen Milliti, St. Joseph’s Health Director of Primary Care Administration Denise Dann, St. Joseph’s Health President and CEO Leslie Paul Luke, and American Heart Association Community Health Director Gina Rivers 

About St. Joseph’s Health

St. Joseph’s Health is a non-profit regional health care system based in Syracuse, N.Y., providing services to patients throughout Central New York and northern Pennsylvania. From primary to specialty to home care, to our Magnet-recognized hospital, and in collaboration with our community partners, St. Joseph's Health is advancing the health of the communities we serve through an expanding range of healthcare services to ensure our patients achieve optimum long-term health. Ranked by Consumer Reports among the top 15 heart surgery centers in the country, U.S. News “Best Regional Hospital” and a 15-time winner of the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice award, St. Joseph’s is widely recognized for quality, value and delivering the highest patient satisfaction. St. Joseph’s Health is affiliated with Franciscan Companies and St. Joseph’s Physicians and is a member of Trinity Health

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