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

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    Wash, rinse, cut . . . and blood pressure check

    March 28, 2018

    An experience in Debbie Wise's salon motivated her to learn how to monitor blood pressure. She is one of nine salon and barber shop owners who are community health educators in Rochester.

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    How does your health affect your hair?

    September 06, 2017

    The second Hair and Health Symposium provides an opportunity to learn about how your health can affect your hair and the important role that barbers and stylist play promoting health. The Sept. 18, 2017 event includes a hair show celebrating Rochester’s latest braidings, weavings, buzz cuts and natural styles.

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    Conference focuses on health as a spiritual matter

    September 06, 2017

    The Health is a Spiritual Matter Conference brings together dynamic speakers and a panel of experts for a day of workshops and worship on Oct. 7, 2017. The conference includes separate workshops for men, women and parents and provides a special open discussion for young adults called #SpirituallyFit.

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    Business leaders help kick smoking off campuses

    July 26, 2017

    A collaborative campaign in Rochester, New York, shows how one community was able to recruit not one, but seven colleges and universities to commit publicly to restricting smoking on their campuses. 

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    Community members star in health posters

    August 19, 2016

    More than 30 health champions are sharing their medication reminders in full-color posters made exclusively for their congregations or workplaces. The customized posters are part of a public health campaign to encourage community members to develop strategies for taking medication.

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    Conference helps churches make health ministries more effective

    June 14, 2016

    Building on the success of their 2015 men’s health conference, this year’s Interdenominational Health Ministry Conference focused on health as a spiritual matter and the connection among mind, body and spirit. The conference is part of IHMC’s ongoing work to encourage local health ministries and was sponsored in part by a grant from the Greater Rochester Health Foundation and was supported by Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency.

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    Practice honored nationally for blood pressure control

    May 05, 2016

    A High Blood Pressure Collaborative primary care practice was honored nationally for helping its patients achieve hypertension control. Rochester Regional Health’s Unity Family Medicine at St. Bernard’s was named a 2015 Hypertension Control Champion by the national Million Hearts initiative.