Patient Care

URMC 1st in U.S. Honored for Hypertension Care, Heart Disease Prevention

Apr. 26, 2012

The University of Rochester Medical Center is first in the nation to earn top-tier recognition for its evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure from the American Society of Hypertension. 

Hypertension is a leading indicator of significant health problems, including stroke, heart attack, heart failure and kidney disease. URMC and University of Chicago Medical Center were both named level one designated hypertension centers, in recognition of their excellence in patient care, research, resident training and compliance with national practice guidelines. 

“It takes a multidisciplinary team to provide comprehensive care and help patients prevent major health problems,” said John Bisognano, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Medicine and director of outpatient cardiology and the hypertension program. URMC’s program brings together experts from Cardiology, Vascular Surgery, Endocrinology, Nephrology, Pediatrics, Community and Preventive Medicine and School of Nursing.

John D. Bisognano, M.D., Ph.D.

The team of nearly two dozen clinicians has specialized training to treat the most challenging forms of hypertension and uses their daily experiences to study better therapies.

“Screening is key to detecting the warning signs for serious illness and our Comprehensive Hypertension Center is an important part of that effort,” said Charles Lowenstein, M.D., chief of the Division of Cardiology. “Being first in the nation to earn this rigorous designation is a testament to the hard work of the whole team.”

ASH is the largest U.S. professional organization of scientists and healthcare professionals committed to eliminating hypertension and its consequences. The rigorous process of securing the designation includes an on-site review and assessment of care. The organization recognizes centers that devote more than half of the practice to patients with hypertension and related disorders, and are staffed by personnel certified with special training n the evaluation and treatment of high blood pressure. Academic medical centers that have a multidisciplinary clinical program for hypertension that includes a robust research and teaching component can receive top level designation.

URMC hypertension experts are an integral part of a community effort to raise awareness of the health risks of high blood pressure and to improve detection and treatment of the condition. The Finger Lakes Health Collaborative is a partnership of the Rochester Business Alliance, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, and area hospitals and leaders designed to reduce the cost of local healthcare. It has set its sights on reducing the prevalence of hypertension, or high blood pressure, noting the significant impact it can have on the community’s overall health.

A leading cause of strokes, heart attacks and kidney and heart diseases, hypertension is found in about one-third of adults in the region. The program aims to help 85 percent of them get it under control and keep it under control.