Grant will support high blood pressure awareness, detection and control among patients and care providers in the Washington, D.C., area through provider outreach, health fair, national event and videos.• High blood pressure affects 1 in 3 adults in the United States, and less than half have their condition under control. Measure Up/Pressure Down® aims to increase that number to 80 percent by 2016.

Newswise — ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Feb. 5, 2015) – The American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF) has been awarded a $150,000 grant over 12 months by United Health Foundation to help support its national Measure Up/Pressure Down® high blood pressure campaign.

The grant is part of the United Health Foundation “Helping Build Healthier Communities” program that is providing critical resources to nonprofit, community-based organizations across the country to improve health.

The grant by United Health Foundation will support activities in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, including enhancing care provider outreach, expanding online resources to share best practices in care and reach new patients, and empowering patients through a local patient symposium/health fair and other engagement initiatives.

“We are thrilled to receive United Health Foundation’s support in helping us expand our work and enhance our community’s health,” said Jerry Penso, M.D., MBA, Chief Medical and Quality Officer of the American Medical Group Association. “Thanks to this grant from United Health Foundation, we will be able to improve high blood pressure awareness and control, which can prevent thousands of heart attacks and strokes in the region.”

The funding comes at a critical time as 68 million Americans – 1 in every 3 U.S. adults – have high blood pressure. Nearly 20 percent of these adults do not even know they have it, and less than half of the people with high blood pressure have their condition under control. The disease can lead to major health issues, including heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and death. According to United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings®, the prevalence of high blood pressure ranges from a low of 24.2 percent of adults in Utah to a high of 41 percent in West Virginia.

“The Measure Up/Pressure Down® campaign is making a difference in the health and quality of life for people with high blood pressure, and we are grateful for the opportunity to help the American Medical Group Foundation expand its care and treatment efforts to reach more people, particularly in underserved areas like Washington, D.C.,” said Christopher J. Mullins, President and CEO, UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic, a UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) company.

As part of its efforts, Measure Up/Pressure Down® encourages medical groups and health systems to adopt one or more evidence-based care processes ("campaign planks") that lead to measurable improvements in high blood pressure outcomes, as well as provides the tools and resources necessary to implement such care processes.

Since the AMGF launched the campaign in late 2012, nearly 150 participating medical groups and health systems delivering care to more than 42 million patients are using campaign planks (evidence-based care processes) and accompanying resources developed by Measure Up/Pressure Down® to improve hypertension prevention, detection and control. To date, more than 317,000 patients nationwide have improved high blood pressure detection or control thanks to the campaign.

About American Medical Group Foundation The American Medical Group Foundation (AMGF) is the nonprofit arm of the American Medical Group Association and it supports and disseminates research on better ways to deliver health care that is scientifically sound and value-based. AMGF also develops and supports educational programs to enable all stakeholders-providers, payers, policymakers and patients to translate the evidence of what works best into everyday practice. We invite you to learn more at:

AMGF launched Measure Up/Pressure Down®, a three-year national campaign to improve care and reduce the burden of high blood pressure on November 29, 2012. Measure Up/Pressure Down® includes nearly 150 medical groups, health systems and national partners such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, and Geisinger Health System. The goal of the three-year campaign is to have 80 percent of high blood pressure patients in control of their condition by 2016. We invite you to learn more at:

About United Health Foundation Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health Foundation has committed more than $240 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at