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Kelsey-Seybold Clinic Newsroom

Million Hearts Recognizes 2014 Hypertension Control Champions

Kelsey-Seybold – Pasadena Clinic and Kelsey-Seybold – Cypress Clinic among those recognized for using evidence-based strategies to achieve high rates of blood pressure control for their patients

Houston (February 25, 2014) – On Feb. 24, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Million Hearts initiative recognized 30 public and private health care practices and systems across the country as Hypertension Control Champions for their success in helping patients control high blood pressure. Two Kelsey-Seybold Clinic locations – Pasadena and Cypress – were recognized for their success in controlling high blood pressure, the only health care institutions to be recognized in Texas.

"High blood pressure can be difficult to diagnose and manage – many patients go for years without knowing that they have high blood pressure because they don't feel unwell – meanwhile, the condition is causing irreparable damage to their vascular system," said Patrick Carter, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., Medical Director for Care Coordination and Quality Improvement at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

"Kelsey-Seybold Clinic has worked diligently to improve outcomes for patients with high blood pressure and this recognition highlights that our organization is highly skilled in caring for patients with chronic conditions like hypertension."

The 2014 Hypertension Control Champions include private and tribal clinical practices and health services, ranging from solo practitioners to large systems and representing both urban and rural areas. Together they care for more than 3.5 million adult patients in 19 different states. Each Champion was able to achieve hypertension control rates of 70 percent or more.

"This year we have more Champions than ever before, demonstrating that high performance is achievable and that we are on a path to better heart health across the nation," said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. "More and more practices are using evidence-based strategies to help patients keep blood pressure down -- a strong sign that we're making progress in preventing heart attacks and strokes."

Nearly 1 in 3 American adults has hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. Only half have it under control, putting them at greater risk of developing heart disease or stroke – two of the leading causes of death in the U.S.
"Million Hearts launched this challenge in 2012 to recognize clinicians and health care teams across the country for helping their patients protect heart health," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "We implore other health systems to follow the lead of these physicians and clinics which are succeeding in saving lives and preventing disability from avoidable heart disease and stroke."

The 2014 Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Champions are:

  • Arsalan Shirwany, MD, FACC, Stern Cardiovascular Foundation, Germantown, Tennessee
  • The Baton Rouge Clinic, AMC, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 
  • Brett Gray, MD, Cherokee Nation Health Services, Salina, Oklahoma
  • Colorado Springs Health Partners, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Daniel Otten, MD, FACC, Stern Cardiovascular Foundation, Germantown, Tennessee
  • Denver Health Community Health Services, Denver, Colorado
  • East Jordan Family Health Center, East Jordan, Michigan
  • Esse Health, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Essentia Health, Duluth, Minnesota
  • Family Health Centers of San Diego, San Diego, California
  • Green Spring Internal Medicine, LLC, Lutherville, Maryland
  • Holger Salazar, MD, FACC, Stern Cardiovascular Foundation, Germantown, Tennessee
  • Jennifer Morrow, MD, FACC, Stern Cardiovascular Foundation, Germantown, Tennessee
  • Kaiser Permanente, Southern California, California
  • Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Cypress, Houston, Texas
  • Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Pasadena,  Pasadena, Texas
  • Lexington Family Practice, Lexington, South Carolina
  • Mark Backus, MD, FACP, Bend, Oregon
  • Methodist Primary Care Group, Memphis, Tennessee
  • Michael Rakotz, MD, FAAFP, Northwestern Medical Group, Evanston, Illinois
  • P.S. Rudie Medical Clinic, Duluth, Minnesota
  • Peninsula Community Health Services, Bremerton, Washington
  • Premier Medical Associates, Monroeville, Pennsylvania
  • Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • PriMed Physicians, Dayton, Ohio
  • Reginald Parker, MD, Northlake Family Medical Practice, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Roane County Family Health Care, Spencer, West Virginia
  • Southwest Montana Community Health Center, Butte, Montana
  • Upper Valley Family Care, Troy and Piqua, Ohio
  • WinMed Health Services, Cincinnati, Ohio

To be eligible, entrants shared verifiable high-blood-pressure-control data and highlighted successful strategies or best practices adopted by the practice or system, such as the use of health information technology or team-based care. All Champions achieved control rates ranging from 70 percent to more than 90 percent of adult patients by using a variety of innovative approaches, including:

  • Making high blood pressure control a priority
  • Using evidence-based guidelines and protocols
  • Designating hypertension champions within a practice or organization
  • Using team-based care models to increase contact with patients
  • Implementing consistent, strategic use of electronic health records that include clinical decision support tools, patient reminders, and registry functionality
  • Staying engaged with patients by offering free blood pressure checks, in-home nurse visits, and medication checks by pharmacists
  • Using public recognition or financial incentives when possible to recognize high-performing clinicians or teams

"We are excited to host this challenge for the third year and showcase more winners than ever before," said Dr. Janet Wright, a board-certified cardiologist and executive director of Million Hearts.

"Like the practices and clinicians recognized in previous years, these 2014 Champions are finding innovative, evidence-based ways to detect hypertension, connect patients with appropriate clinical care, and make blood pressure control their goal to save lives from heart attack and stroke."

For more information about the Hypertension Control Challenge and the 2014 Champions, please visit

CDC co-leads the Million Hearts initiative with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CDC developed the Hypertension Control Challenge as part of its longstanding efforts to identify prevention strategies that help patients achieve blood pressure control. Million Hearts is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Million Hearts brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke. For more information about the initiative and to access resources, visit


CDC works 24/7 saving lives and protecting people from health threats to have a more secure nation.  Whether these threats are chronic or acute, manmade or natural, human error or deliberate attack, global or domestic, CDC is the U.S. health protection agency. 
Preventive health care can help Americans stay healthier throughout their lives. Those enrolled in health insurance coverage can use the "Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You" (English and Spanish) to learn about their benefits, including how to connect to primary care and the preventive services that are right for them, so that they can live a long and healthy life.

About Kelsey-Seybold

Kelsey-Seybold Clinic is Houston's premier multispecialty group practice, founded in 1949 by Dr. Mavis Kelsey in Houston's renowned Texas Medical Center. More than 850 physicians and allied health professionals practice at 40 locations in the Greater Houston area. Kelsey-Seybold offers quality medical care in 65+ medical specialties. The organization operates the largest freestanding Ambulatory Surgery Center in the state of Texas and offers state-of-the-art Varian TrueBeam and Varian Edge radiation therapy technology at a nationally accredited Cancer Center. An accredited Sleep Center, comprehensive laboratory services, advanced imaging and diagnostics, 24 onsite Kelsey pharmacies and one specialty pharmacy, and MyKelseyOnline, a secure web portal, are part of its comprehensive offerings. Kelsey-Seybold partners with major insurers to offer value-based commercial health plans. KelseyCare Advantage, a Medicare Advantage plan offered to Houston-area beneficiaries and affiliated with Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, has achieved the coveted 5-out-of-5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for eight consecutive years.

Kelsey-Seybold has been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the nation’s first accredited Accountable Care Organization and is home to a nationally accredited Breast Diagnostic Center and Endoscopy Center.

Kelsey-Seybold Clinic achieved a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 91. NPS is the global standard for measuring customer loyalty and satisfaction. An NPS score of 70 or higher is considered by industry experts to be "world class" and an indicator of overwhelming customer loyalty.

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