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New CCCNMO program to improve community health by addressing self-management of blood pressure in hypertensive clients

Mid-Missouri Self-Measurement of Blood Pressure Program Launch and Training
Catholic Charities Health and Nutrition services host CDC-sponsored training for facilitators across Cole and Boone Counties as part of the Mid-MO Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring program launch on December 7, 2021.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Media Contact: Ashley Wiskirchen, Director of Communications | awiskirchen@cccnmo.org

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri (CCCNMO) Health and Nutrition Services launched the Mid-Missouri Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring (SMBPM) Program in Jefferson City on December 7, 2021, with program facilitator training at the CCCNMO facility in Jefferson City. 

The Mid-Missouri SMBPM Program, initially formed by three agencies Aging Best, Live Well by Faith under the Columbia/ Boone County Public Health Department, and Catholic Charities, will implement the Healthy Heart Ambassador Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring program (HHA-BPSM) across mid-Missouri. The program receives funding in part from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). The initiative places trained facilitators in key community locations including churches, health departments, and service agencies for easy access to program enrollees. To achieve this, the SMBPM Program is developing under a task force of healthcare professionals and advisors, as well as community leaders in public health across both Boone and Cole counties. 

This fall, Mutamba’s department conducted a screening that revealed most people seeking services from their senior-aged programs had received a diagnosis of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Many were on prescribed medication to manage their blood pressure with some clients having no clear treatment practices. 

“When we found that more than half of our Health and Nutrition Services participants were hypertensive, we were challenged to develop a program that could address this chronic problem,” said Judith Mutamba, the Director of Catholic Charities Health and Nutrition Services and coordinator of the SMBPM program. 

“Upon offer of technical assistance and funding from DHSS to facilitate the Healthy Heart Ambassador program,” Mutamba continued, “We knew we could collaborate with community leaders in Boone and Cole County to synergistically provide needed services to hypertensive clients to manage their blood pressure.” 

At the program’s launch, 25 facilitators participated in the CDC training to facilitate this evidence-based program. The task force anticipates onboarding additional facilitators as the program grows. 

Facilitators are trained to teach program enrollees how to effectively use a blood pressure monitor, which will be loaned to them at no cost. Facilitators then meet with program participants in-person weekly, following up by email, text, or phone call to ensure participants are on target with their self-measurement practices over a four-month period. Program enrollees will also attend one nutrition education seminar each month for the duration of four months.  

The program task force is comprised of representatives from both Boone and Cole County Public Health Departments and community centers, the University of Missouri, Lincoln University and Boone County extension offices, Capital Region Medical Center and SSM Health, CCCNMO staff, and several registered practitioners and nurses. 

“I commend Mrs. Mutamba for collecting these diverse voices and backgrounds into one conversation that will better the health of people in our communities,” said Verna Laboy, Public Health educator for Columbia and Boone County Public Health and Human Service at the inaugural task force meeting.  

“We’re looking forward to the growth of this new program,” Mutamba said, “And though individuals participate in the program for just four months, we look forward to seeing this program present in communities for years to come.”  

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Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri (CCCNMO) is a 501(c)(3) social service agency, and an entity of the Diocese of Jefferson City, responding to the needs of people in 38 counties regardless of faith, culture, or situation. This includes services for refugees and immigrants, those with food insecurity, mental health needs, health and nutrition education, basic household and shelter needs. For more information, visit cccnmo.diojeffcity.org.