New Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program Begins at the Y

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, APRIL 11, 2019 – On May 1, 2019, the Berkeley Heights YMCA, a branch of the Summit Area YMCA, will begin offering the YMCA’s Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program, designed to help participants with hypertension lower their blood pressure by following an evidence-based program that combines blood pressure self-monitoring, nutrition education seminars and personalized support.

The Y developed this program to help individuals better manage hypertension and improve their overall health. According to the American Heart Association, more than 80 million Americans have high blood pressure, but less than half have it under control. Research shows that the simple process of checking and recording blood pressure at least twice a month over four months may lower blood pressure in some people with hypertension. In addition, evidence shows that proper nutrition, particularly with a reduction in sodium intake, may help reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

Often referred to as “The Silent Killer”, high blood pressure typically has no warning signs or symptoms, and often leads heart disease and stroke, which are two of the leading causes of death in the United States.

“The Berkeley Heights YMCA is proud to launch the Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring program,” said Lisa McQuilkin, Wellness Director of the Berkeley Heights YMCA. “The Y is the leading community-based organization dedicated to improving the nation’s health and this program is a great example of putting that commitment into action.”

As part of the Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring program, participants will measure their blood pressure at least four times a month for four consecutive months—a minimum of sixteen times—and record their blood pressure readings in a self-selected tracking tool. A nutrition education component will encourage the participants to practice healthier eating habits, including reducing sodium in their diet.

With over 100 YMCA associations offering the program across the United States, the Berkeley Heights YMCA is joining the movement in improving American heart health. Preliminary data shows that 42% of nearly 5800 participants in the program who began with uncontrolled high blood pressure became controlled, with an average change of -11.3 mm/Hg in systolic blood pressure and an average of -6.2 mm/Hg in diastolic blood pressure. Uncontrolled being defined as greater or equal to 140/90 mm/Hg. An astonishing 94% of participants planned on continuing to self-monitor their blood pressure, while 87% made progress towards health and well-being goals as a result in participating in the program.
“I feel that this program has helped so many to realize how important having a normal blood pressure is. As a result of my participation in the program, I am making better eating choices and I have lowered my blood pressure drastically.”said a participant from the Birmingham Metropolitan YMCA. “I’ve been told I may be ale to come off my medications as soon as within six weeks if this type of progress continues.”

The program is facilitated by Healthy Heart Ambassadors, appointed and trained by the Y, who will show participants how to use a blood pressure monitor, encourage self-monitoring and facilitate monthly nutrition education seminars.

The Berkeley Heights YMCA is looking for adults with high blood pressure who could benefit from participating in this program. Benefits include:
• A simple, evidence-based program that may lower blood pressure
• Personalized support and coaching from a Y Healthy Heart Ambassador
• Tips for maintaining cardiovascular health
• Easy-to-use, portable self-tracking tool
• Heart healthy nutrition education seminars

Participants must meet the following criteria to participate in the program:
Must be at least 18 years old
• Must be diagnosed with high blood pressure
• Must not have experienced a recent cardiac event
• Must not have atrial fibrillation or other arrhythmias
• Must not be at risk for lymphedema


BEGINS: MAY 1, 2019
COST: $50
Participants will need a blood pressure cuff for self-monitoring at home for this program.

 Sign Up for the Berkeley Heights YMCA Program    Sign Up for the Summit YMCA Program

For more information about the program, visit

Financial Assistance is also available. For more information, please visit

For more information, please contact:





908-464-8373  ext. 2026



About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve more than 10,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need.

About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.