$20,000 Donation to AMGA’s Campaign Will Help Efforts to Reduce Toll of High Blood Pressure
The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) announced today that the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) donated $20,000 to support Measure Up Pressure Down, a national campaign to improve high blood pressure prevention, detection and control, spearheaded by the American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF), AMGA’s nonprofit education and research arm. PAMF is one of more than 140 medical groups and health systems that have signed on to participate in the campaign. Although there is no cost for participation, PAMF has demonstrated its commitment to meeting this public health challenge with the contribution.
“AMGF greatly appreciates PAMF’s support and dedication to curbing the burden of high blood pressure,” says Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, president and chief executive officer of AMGA and secretary of the AMGF Board. “PAMF continues to be on the leading edge of health care transformation and we commend them for signing on as a group participant to meet the challenge of reducing high blood pressure, and for providing financial support to help ensure the campaign’s success.”
High blood pressure is one of the nation’s most significant health issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), high blood pressure contributes to nearly 1,000 deaths a day and accounts for an estimated $156 billion in health care services, medications and lost productivity. One of the most effective ways to control high blood pressure is for the patient to work with a coordinated health care team to get the condition under control. The central mission of Measure Up/Pressure Down is to mobilize medical groups and organized systems of care to adopt one or more evidence-based care processes that lead to measurable improvements in high blood pressure outcomes. To further the campaign’s reach, the changes in clinical practice are being supplemented with patient education tools, strategic partnerships, special events, and a national media and public awareness strategy.
“Our primary care doctors, specialists and health educators are partners with our patients, and preventing and controlling high blood pressure is one part of that relationship,” said PAMF Executive Vice President Tony Marzoni, M.D., M.B.A. “Our support of the Measure Up/Pressure Down campaign is an important way to enhance our ongoing efforts to inspire people to take great care of themselves and their blood pressure.”
For many years, PAMF has provided free blood pressure screenings to patients and the public at its medical centers and at community health fairs. PAMF offers a variety of resources including health education classes and lectures, as well as shared medical appointments (for PAMF patients) focused on specific health concerns. Additionally, blood pressure testing and preventive care are keystones of PAMF’s South Asian health initiative.
Other partners and supporting organizations of Measure Up/Pressure Down include the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Million Hearts initiative, Association of Black Cardiologists, the American Heart Association, the American Society of Hypertension, the American Kidney Fund, and the Institute for Health and Productivity Management. The campaign also has two national sponsors that are committed to helping resolve this public health challenge: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.
About the Measure Up/Pressure Down Campaign
The American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF), the nonprofit arm of the American Medical Group Association, launched Measure Up/Pressure Down, a three-year national campaign to improve care and reduce the burden of high blood pressure on November 29, 2012. Measure Up/Pressure Down includes more than 140 medical groups, health systems and national partners such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The goal of the three-year campaign is to have 80 percent of high blood pressure patients in control of their condition by 2016.
The American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the American Medical Group Association and it supports and disseminates research on better ways to deliver health care that is scientifically sound and value-based. AMGF also develops and supports educational programs to enable all stakeholders-providers, payers, policymakers and patients to translate the evidence of what works best into everyday practice. www.amga.org/foundation
The American Medical Group Association represents some of the nation’s largest, most prestigious medical practices, independent practice associations, accountable care organizations, and integrated healthcare delivery systems. AMGA’s mission is to support its members in enhancing population health and care for patients through integrated systems of care. More than 130,000 physicians practice in AMGA member organizations, providing healthcare services for 120 million patients (approximately one in three Americans). Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMGA is the strategic partner for these organizations, providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs, publications, benchmarking data services, and financial and operations assistance. www.amga.org
Sherry Greenwood, American Medical Group Association
(703) 838-0033, ext. 352; email@example.com
Cynthia Greaves,Palo Alto Medical Foundation Public Affairs
The Organizational Cultural Competency Committee (OCC) of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), co-chaired by Drs. Barry Eisenberg, M.D., and Latha Palaniappan, M.D., M.S., is pleased to announce its recent pledge to join the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA). The NPA was established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities in the United States.
As the country and PAMF patients continue to become more diverse, it is important to acknowledge and address health inequities and differences in order to provide the highest quality of care and meet the unique needs of each patient. By pledging to join the NPA’s efforts, PAMF reaffirms its commitment and mission to enhance the well-being of the people in our communities through compassion, excellence and innovation in health care, research and education. Joining the NPA is one step the OCC has taken this year to work towards increasing awareness and address health disparities. The OCC has led multiple initiatives geared toward educating and raising awareness about specific patient populations. “At PAMF, we are developing innovative programs to address the needs of each of our unique populations,” said Dr. Eisenberg. Read More about PAMF Cultural Competency Committee Joins National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities
For South Asian taxi drivers, it isn’t traffic that threatens their safety, it is the sedentary lifestyle – sitting all day, every day.
Studies have found that taxi drivers are highly susceptible to a number of health problems because of their sedentary lives spent sitting behind the wheel. Drivers are must often eat on the go, making fast food their easiest option. Few of them get any exercise whatsoever, and many often suffer from back, hip and leg pain from sitting in a car all day.
“This lack of exercise combined with an unhealthy diet leads to disproportionately high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure among taxi drivers,” says Latha Palaniappan, M.D., Internal Medicine physician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
As part of PAMF’s cultural competency initiatives, Dr. Palaniappan and PAMF’s Cultural Competency Coordinator Edith Gamboa collaborated with Stanford’s student-led Screen Team on outreach to one of Silicon Valley’s most vulnerable communities—Mineta San Jose Airport taxi drivers. They were joined by other PAMF employees who volunteered on Saturday, May 18, to provide health screenings and wellness advice. Read More about PAMF & Stanford Project Offers Health Screenings, Wellness Advice to South Asian Taxi Drivers
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation, which is part of the Sutter Health network of care, and Marvell Technology Group, an international semi-conductor company, have launched a unique on-site wellness program at Marvell’s Santa Clara, California location to help make it easier for employees at the company to take care of their health at work.
“At Marvell, it’s a priority to help our employees achieve the best possible work/life balance,” says Alycia Osborne, senior benefits analyst at Marvell. “We know that healthy employees are happier and more productive at work.”
PAMF’s employer services team has been providing regular monthly lunchtime lectures to Marvell’s staff and has participated in the company’s health fairs as a vendor for the past three years. Developing a more structured wellness program – tailored to employees’ unique health needs – was the next, and most recent, step. To further develop this wellness program, PAMF collaborated with Sutter Health, which has established on-site wellness programs at employer sites throughout the Bay Area and Northern California.
“When we surveyed Marvell’s staff about their health history and habits, we found out that more than half the employees did not have a primary care doctor,” says Ronesh Sinha, M.D., medical director for PAMF’s Employer Services Program. “Many of the employees also have East or South Asian ethnicity, with a higher risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This was an excellent opportunity to help employees see the value of an ongoing relationship with a primary care doctor and provide them with the benefit of our expertise in caring for an ethnically and culturally diverse group of patients.”
12-Week Wellness Evaluation Pilot Program
In September 2011, PAMF and Sutter Health collaborated to launch a 12-week Wellness Evaluation Pilot Program for Marvell. The program comprised three key components, all held on Marvell’s campus, making it easy for employees to participate at work:
Biometric screening: Nurses from an outside company visited Marvell and screened participating employees’ weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.
PAMF’s online personal Health Risk Assessment (HRA): Employees recorded their biometric screening results, completed the HRA and printed a copy to take to their wellness evaluation for review.
40-minute appointment with a PAMF primary care doctor: Doctors reviewed each employee’s personal HRA, discussed the employee’s health goals, formulated a wellness plan and provided resources for long-term follow-up care. Read More about PAMF Launches Unique, On-Site Employee Wellness Program at Marvell
When it comes to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, South Asians are one of the highest risk groups, and they also die from heart disease at a much younger age. To ensure that South Asian patients can live longer, healthier lives, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) has created a South Asian Health Program that provides services and resources tailored to South Asian patients’ specific health needs.
When PAMF rheumatologist Brent Culver, M.D., heard about the annual six-mile Wharf-to-Wharf run in Santa Cruz, he saw it as a great opportunity to encourage some of his patients to overcome their health obstacles to participate in the annual fun run.
Dr. Culver worked to get the word out about the race among his patients, other doctors and staff. As a result, several patients, doctors and Palo Alto Medical Foundation staff were among the 15,000 runners taking on the challenge of the Wharf-to-Wharf Race this past weekend.
Overcoming all obstacles
“Seven of our patients participated in the run, ranging from patients with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis to one patient on dialysis,” Dr. Culver said. “Some of them never thought they would be able to do it. It was a very motivating experience for everyone.”
Everyone on the team ran, or walked, at their own pace. The group gathered at the finish line to encourage and congratulate each other as they finished.
“One of the patients I was most proud of is a young woman who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 14,” Dr. Culver said. “She hasn’t let that health obstacle get in her way at all. In fact, she was recently accepted at a Division I university in their track and field program.”
Douglas Hetzler, M.D. , of the PAMF Santa Cruz Department of Otolaryngology, presented the awards to the race winners. Belainesh Gebre was the top woman finisher, completing the race in 30 minutes and 45 seconds, and Shadrack Kosgei was the first man across the finish line at a time of 27 minutes and one second.