High Blood Pressure Collaborative


The High Blood Pressure Collaborative engages more than 200 volunteers from over 70 organizations across Monroe County.

Blood Pressure Advocates

Building on the internationally successful community health workers model, the team supports Blood Pressure Advocates Opens in a new window, health coaches who work one-on-one with patients through the University of Rochester's Center for Community Health Opens in a new window. For medical practitioners, the collaborative employs specially trained physicians to share evidence-based approaches for treating high blood pressure.

Neighborhoods and congregations

More than 25 barbers and hair stylists Opens in a new window have been trained to take blood pressures and to encourage clients to see their doctors if the readings are high. In partnership with the Interdenominational Health Ministry Coalition, the team supports health ministries Opens in a new window in more than 20 congregations. 


Since the launch of the campaign in 2010, hypertension control for adults in Monroe County has improved 9.3 percent. The results are tracked through the nation’s first community-wide high blood pressure registry based on de-identified clinical data from our two major hospital systems as well as independent practices. In 2014, the innovative data initiative was expanded to eight additional Finger Lakes counties. As of December 2016, the registry contained the electronic data of more than 60 percent of individual in our nine-county Finger Lakes region estimated to have high blood pressure. 

Nationally recognized success

From 2015 to 2017, the High Blood Pressure Collaborative was recognized with awards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Business Group on Health, the Healthcare Association of New York State and the American Hospital Association and the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. In the fall of 2015, Janet Wright, the executive director of the national Million Hearts initiative, traveled to Rochester to help celebrate Monroe County’s five-year improvement in high blood pressure control, an announcement that prompted the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper to call out our blood pressure work as an area in which Rochester is a “public health leader.”


The Collaborative is part of the broader work of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce's health care planning team. For more than a decade, the team has brought together health experts, business leaders and community partners to find effective ways of improving health in the region. The group’s high blood pressure initiatives are managed through a partnership between the Rochester Chamber and Common Ground Health.

The team’s Leadership Roundtable includes the chief executive officers of the region’s largest employers, hospitals and health insurance companies. Current members are Eastman Kodak, Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, Common Ground Health, Jasco Tools, LiDestri Food and Beverage, MVP Health Care, Paychex, Rochester Business Alliance, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester Regional Health, University of Rochester Medical Center, Wegmans and Xerox.


Initiatives - High Blood Pressure - Articles Featured

Initiatives - High Blood Pressure - Articles

  • ~/Media/Default/Article/Image/TikTok%20challenge4-1.JPG

    College students create buzz around quitting vaping

    February 28, 2020

    During a one-day hackathon-style event at St. John Fisher College, students at six area colleges and universities heard from a local social media star how to create hit dance videos that may move their peers to quit vaping.

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    Program teaches patients how to ask their doctor questions

    July 25, 2019

    Faced with a mysterious illness and medical lingo she didn’t understand, Debbie Wise stopped showing up for appointments and quit taking her medicine. Then the hair stylist learned to bring her questions to her doctors through a new health literacy course.

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    Making walking and biking the easy choice

    June 13, 2019

    Could crosswalks, protected bike lanes and other traffic safety features combat chronic illness, control weight and improve mood?

    Research shows that telling people to exercise doesn't work, but creating environments that support walking and biking does.

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    Gates Medical's high blood pressure success lies in ...

    April 30, 2019

    Common Ground's high blood pressure registry shows that Gates Medical Associates has achieved unusually good control rates for groups that are at high risk for poor hypertension outcomes. Find out what makes the University of Rochester practice so effective.

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    A decade of high blood pressure improvement

    February 26, 2019

    For the past decade, the High Blood Pressure Collaborative has focused on reducing strokes, heart attacks and other catastrophic health outcomes linked to hypertension. To celebrate the region’s steady progress and to lay the ground work for the next chapter in addressing chronic illness, the Collaborative has published a 10-year retrospective.

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    Find a free blood pressure kiosk

    December 07, 2018

    Kiosks that provide accurate and fast blood pressure checks are located throughout Monroe and surrounding counties. This Google map shows the name and location of more than 100 free blood pressure kiosks.

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    Video: Evolving a culture of health

    October 31, 2018

    Wade Norwood, CEO of Common Ground Health, shares how the High Blood Pressure Collaborative initiatives in doctors’ offices, churches and barbershops and salons have helped residents better manage their health and wellbeing.

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    How clinical data and coaching are driving improvement in high blood pressure

    August 23, 2018

     It’s one thing for medical practices to push for better blood pressure rates among patients. It’s another for them to see—with colorful numbers, charts and graphs—whether their efforts are making a difference.

     And in large part because of the High Blood Pressure Registry, they are.

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    Faith communities provide powerful path to health

    June 29, 2018

    An innovative initiative in a dozen African American churches has helped reduce dangerously high blood pressure rates among participants by more than 60 percent. Discover how spiritual support for healthy living is making a difference.

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    Eight reasons to stay focused on high blood pressure

    June 27, 2018

    The latest high blood pressure registry along with other local data show that high blood pressure and heart disease are leading drivers of premature mortality in our nine county Finger Lakes region, particularly for African Americans. View all eight data slides showing why we should stay focused on this chronic illness.

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    Video: 'It's easy to open up a conversation'

    May 01, 2018

    Devon Reynolds and fellow barbers and stylists build on their close relationships with clients to address hypertension in African American neighborhoods, where our registry shows residents struggle most with high blood pressure.