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Family Health Centers of San Diego wins national “Million Hearts” award

SAN DIEGO, California -- Family Health Centers of San Diego (FHCSD) was named a recipient of the prestigious Million Hearts award today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for its ability to achieve hypertension control rates of 70% or more among patients.

Only 30 organizations nationwide were selected as “champions” for this Hypertension Control Challenge and only eight of the winners, including FHCSD, are Federally Qualified Health Centers.

“We are truly honored to be recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control for our efforts to control hypertension among our patients,” Chief Executive Officer Fran Butler-Cohen said. “This award is the culmination of hard work and determination on behalf of our medical staff and leadership team to ensure our patients receive the best quality health care possible.”

To be eligible for this award, FHCSD shared verifiable high blood pressure control data and highlighted successful strategies and best practices adopted by the organization, including the use of health information technology and team-based care.

All Million Hearts champions achieved control rates ranging from 70% to more than 90% of adult patients by using a variety of innovative approaches. The only other California recipient of the award was Kaiser Permanente.

“This year we have more champions than ever before, demonstrating that high performance is achievable and that we are on a path to better heart health across the nation,” HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said. “More and more practices are using evidence-based strategies to help patients keep blood pressure down -- a strong sign that we’re making progress in preventing heart attacks and strokes.”

Nearly one in three American adults has hypertension, commonly called high blood pressure. Only half of those manage it, putting them at greater risk of developing heart disease or stroke — two of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Together, this year’s 30 champions cared for more than 3.5 million adult patients in 19 states.

About Family Health Centers of San Diego

Family Health Centers of San Diego’s mission is to provide caring, affordable, high quality health care and supportive services to everyone, with a special commitment to uninsured, low income and medically underserved persons. Since 1970, FHCSD has been an integral part of San Diego’s health care safety net and is proud to be one of the largest, private, non-profit community clinics in the nation. Annually, FHCSD serves over 180,000 patients through a comprehensive list of services and programs and, despite the Affordable Care Act, continues to provide care to more uninsured patients than any other community clinic in the nation. For more information, or to make an appointment, call (619) 515-2300 or visit HERE.

About Million Hearts Initiative

CDC co-leads the Million Hearts initiative with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CDC developed the Hypertension Control Challenge as part of its longstanding efforts to identify prevention strategies that help patients achieve blood pressure control. Million Hearts is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Million Hearts brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke. For more information about the initiative and to access resources, visit HERE.