YMCA of Central New York

2021 Hypertension Control Exemplar

Million Hearts® recognizes the YMCA of Central New York, located in Syracuse, New York, as a Hypertension Control Exemplar for their ability to transition their worksite wellness Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring (BPSM) to a virtual format for employees working remotely.

Successful Strategies

Syracuse University engaged the YMCA of Central New York to offer their BPSM program to university employees. This four-month program helps adults with hypertension lower and control their blood pressure, through education, support, and the use of a home blood pressure monitor. Originally designed as an onsite worksite wellness class, the Y quickly transitioned their program to a virtual format to meet the needs of a remote workforce.

From December 2020 to March 2021, a total of 17 participants enrolled in the virtual BPSM program, which included weekly 30-minute one-on-one sessions with a Heart Health Ambassador (HHA) and group sessions every four weeks. Participants learned to measure and record their blood pressure, attended nutrition education seminars, and received personalized consultations related to lifestyle changes including sleep, hydration, nutrition, movement, and stress.

During the 16-week BPSM program, the YMCA of Central New York saw participants achieve a 14% decrease in systolic blood pressure and a 6% decrease in diastolic blood pressure.

YMCA building.

“Transitioning the Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring program from in-person to virtual during the pandemic proved to be a very valuable experience. Overall, I believe it gave the program more depth and highlighted the importance of being consistent with the content and engaging with the participants.”

—Stephanie Michaels, Program Facilitator-Heart Health Ambassador, YMCA of Central New York

Exercise equipment at the YMCA.

“Our learnings during the pandemic and having to switch the program delivery to virtual proved to be very beneficial to the participants. They were able to schedule their appointments with the program coach to a time that worked for them at home and could easily log on to the virtual platform to discuss their weekly progress. We discovered that a virtual delivery model resulted in a higher program retention rate and greater overall success of the participants’ reduction in blood pressure.”

—Jessica DesRosiers, Associate Executive Director of Health Strategies, YMCA of Central New York


Million Hearts® applauds the YMCA of Central New York for making lasting changes in these employees’ lives and thanks them for their commitment to cardiovascular health!

Implement Hypertension Control Strategies

Learn more about the YMCA’s Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring (BPSM) program.

For more information about how to correctly measure your blood pressure, check out this infographic on The Correct Way to Measure Blood Pressure.

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Million Hearts Exemplars YMCA of Central New York
Page last reviewed: December 7, 2021