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Published January 20, 2023
Self-measured blood pressure monitoring kits are now available for checkout at the Natrona County Library, thanks to a partnership with the University of Wyoming’s Wyoming Center on Aging (WyCOA) and the Wyoming Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention Program.
The kits, available in both English and Spanish, include an automated home blood pressure cuff; blood pressure logbooks; educational materials from the American Heart Association; information on what blood pressure is; and ideas for healthy lifestyle changes. The kits also include a resource directory of local community-based organizations and referral resources to the Cent$ible Nutrition Program and the Healthy U chronic disease self-management program.
The blood pressure kits are available for checkout at the library and can be reserved online ahead of time. The loan period is three weeks. A kit will be automatically renewed, up to two times, if there is no hold on it. This program also is currently available to residents in Albany, Park and Sweetwater counties.
“The blood pressure cuffs are a perfect and natural fit for the library and our patrons,” says Lisa Scroggins, executive director of the Natrona County Library. “Our staff and the staff at libraries across the country are already routinely assisting patrons with unmet health and social needs by providing access to reliable local and online resources.”
The library partners with groups including Enroll Wyoming to offer Affordable Care Act open enrollment help; hosts mental and physical health programs led by local specialists; and is piloting a project called Wyoming Public Access Telehealth Spaces to offer HIPAA-secure and ADA-compliant telemedicine from certified health care providers across the state.
Nearly half of adults in the United States -- 47 percent, or 116 million -- have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, or are taking medication for hypertension, and 24 percent with hypertension have their condition under control, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Wyoming, 30.7 percent of adults have been told that they have high blood pressure, according to the Wyoming Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention Program.
While self-measured blood pressure is not a substitute for regular visits to primary care physicians, it is a way for individuals to see and track their numbers, giving them more information that can be communicated to their doctors.
“Information is power, and the more information a patient and their doctor have, the better the treatment plan,” says Kevin Franke, a WyCOA senior project coordinator. “Better treatment plans lead to better overall health. That’s the goal of this project -- to work to improve the health of our communities.”
The Natrona County Library is committed to building and supporting strong, healthy communities. This project provides a unique opportunity to offer the community more information about self-monitored blood pressure and its important role in health.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the Wyoming Department of Health and WyCOA to bring these much-needed resources to the community,” Scroggins says.
For more information about the Natrona County Library, go to www.natronacountylibrary.org or call (307) 577-READ.