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Team Up. Pressure Down

In September 2011, public and private organizations united in an unprecedented commitment to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes by 2017 through clinical and community interventions. The Million HeartsTM initiative aims to:

  • Achieve excellence in the "ABCS"Aspirin for people at risk, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management and Smoking cessation and
  • Empower Americans to make healthy choices - preventing or quitting tobacco use and reducing sodium and trans fat consumption.

Photo: Team of smiling peopleThe U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended team-based care for blood pressure control [PDF - 168KB]. Their review found that control improved when care was provided by a team of health professionals - a physician supported by a pharmacist, nurse, dietitian, social worker, or community health worker - rather than by a single physician alone. Further, studies show that pharmacist-directed care, in collaboration with physicians or nurses, improves the management of major cardiovascular risk factors in outpatients, including high blood pressure. CDC and pharmacists are joining together to help people better manage their high blood pressure, through a new pharmacy-focused effort called Team Up. Pressure Down.

What is Hypertension?
Blood pressure is the force of blood against your artery walls as it circulates through your body. High blood pressure is unsafe because it makes your heart work harder to pump blood. This can cause damage to the arteries and puts you at risk for a heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure is called the "silent killer" because it often has no warning signs or symptoms. Many people don't realize they have it. That's why it's important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.

  • Measuring your blood pressure. It is quick and painless to measure your blood pressure. You can get a reading at your pharmacy, doctor's office, or even at home. Blood pressure is measured using two numbers—systolic and diastolic. Use this Blood Pressure Calculator to find out what your numbers mean.
  • You can control your blood pressure. For some people, making healthy changes in their lives can help lower blood pressure. For others, medication may be needed as well. If your doctor gives you one or more medications as part of a treatment plan, be sure to take them as directed. Work with your pharmacist and doctor to create a plan that works best for you.
  • Photo: Woman talking to pharmacistTalk to your pharmacist. Did you know that your pharmacist can answer your general high blood pressure questions, and even take your blood pressure? Your pharmacist is not only trained to fill your prescriptions, but can help you better understand your condition and the medications you are taking.
  • Team Up. Pressure Down. Through medication, healthy lifestyle changes, and working closely with your health care team, you can get—and keep—your blood pressure under control. That's a message to take to heart.


The videos and resources below will help you better understand high blood pressure and steps you can take to prevent or treat it.
  • Photo: Woman checking her blood pressureVideo: High Blood Pressure Basics
    Is your heart working overtime? Watch this video to find out what hypertension is, what causes it, and why you should care.
  • Video: Treating High Blood Pressure
    There are many ways to treat hypertension, from reducing the amount of sodium (salt) in your diet to taking medication. Learn how each of these treatments works in your body and how they protect you from a heart attack or stroke.
  • My Blood Pressure Journal [PDF - 947KB]
    With the help of this journal, you'll learn how to manage and control your high blood pressure. You will also learn what questions to ask your pharmacist or doctor if you are worried about your condition or medication(s). Use this journal on a daily basis to record your blood pressure readings and prescription information, and to help you reach your health goals.
  • Medication tracker wallet card [PDF - 209KB]
    Use this pocket-sized card to keep track of your medications and refills. Brought to you by Million Hearts™ and the Script Your Future campaign.
  • Join our Facebook community
    Become a fan of Million Hearts™ on Facebook for daily tips and information on how to reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Resources for Pharmacists

Through active engagement with patients, pharmacists can help improve blood pressure management and adherence to hypertension medications. Below you will find time-saving tools and resources to help you better identify and engage patients with high blood pressure. Become a fan of Million Hearts™ on Facebook for the latest information on Team Up. Pressure Down.

  • Continuing Pharmacy Education Credit (CPE)
    Join one of four live webinars to learn more about Team Up. Pressure Down. and earn CPE credit. Webinars will be held on September 5, 6, 11, and 12. Register online.
  • Video: How You Can Team Up with Patients
    As a pharmacist, you play a vital role in helping patients manage their hypertension and improve their health. Find out how you can use every pharmacy visit as an opportunity to guide your patients to the best possible outcomes.
  • Pocket discussion tool [PDF - 412KB]
    Quick tips and conversation starters—in a convenient pocket size—helps you maximize time spent with patients on the topic of blood pressure.
  • DRAW© (Drug Adherence Work-up) tool [PDF - 227KB]
    Print this tool or access it on your mobile device to help start and manage a conversation about medication adherence and its barriers. Brought to you by the University of Iowa and Team Up. Pressure Down.
  • Blood pressure guide [PDF - 320KB]
    A quick reference guide on taking blood pressure readings and encouraging patients to use the monitor available in your pharmacy. This guide also includes information for patients about regular monitoring and recommendations you can give to keep blood pressure down.
  • Poster [PDF - 258KB]
    Hang this checklist inside your pharmacy as a reminder to speak with patients about hypertension.
  • Postcard [PDF - 815KB]
    Help spread the word about Team Up. Pressure Down. by offering this postcard to your customers. The card provides an overview of hypertension and instructions for accessing more information.
  • Medication reminder [PDF - 199KB]
    Since forgetting to take medication is one of the most common reasons patients are non-adherent, offer this tear-pad to hang on the refrigerator or place by the telephone to serve as a friendly reminder that they will see each time they open the fridge or pick up the phone.
  • Blood Pressure Calculator
    Encourage your patients to find out what their blood pressure readings mean with this tool. The calculator is available on Facebook.

Become a Team Up. Pressure Down. Partner

Team Up. Pressure Down. partners with organizations from across the public and private health sectors, including federal agencies, pharmacists, businesses, health advocacy groups, and community organizations. Learn more about our current partners and how you can join the team.
  • Page last reviewed: September 5, 2012
  • Page last updated: September 5, 2012
  • Content source:
    • Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs
    • Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs