Heart disease and stroke combined are the leading causes of death in Washington State, and both of which share hypertension and high cholesterol as major risk factors.

This site is dedicated to helping health professionals and community-based partners reduce the impact of cardiovascular diseases in our communities.

The Washington State Department of Health’s Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes Prevention Program maintains this site in collaboration with partners in the Cardiovascular and Diabetes Network Leadership Team. 

What's New?

May 2021: National Stroke Month and National High Blood Pressure Month

May is an ideal time to raise awareness about stroke and high blood pressure, and the connections between the two. This spring, "harvest" these resources to help with communications.

Would you like assistance with messaging about stroke, high blood pressure, or other cardiovascular topics in Washington State? If so, let us know by contacting

Managing Chronic Conditions Beyond COVID

An April 2021 article in Modern Healthcare outlines how a wave of undermanaged chronic disease looms post-pandemic.

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in partnership with CBS television, launched a nationally syndicated public service announcement series and a companion, bilingual website,, to help Americans manage chronic diseases safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. is available in both English and Spanish and provides tips and information for those with illnesses whose health could worsen during the pandemic, whether through lack of treatment, lack of access to treatment, or by becoming ill from COVID-19. The website, developed by Nicely Built and NACDD, in collaboration with the Black Creative Group and the Hispanic Communications Network, has the latest news and information about chronic disease and COVID-19.

Other resources to encourage people with heart disease and other chronic health conditions to maintain connections with their doctors are two articles published by the Washington State Department of Health. Healthy Habits in Extraordinary Times is available in English on the Public Health Connection blog, and in Spanish on the Bienestar blog. If you would like to republish this content, please email us at

Surgeon General Issues Call to Action to Control Hypertension

High levels of hypertension control can be achieved in clinical settings and communities. However, recently analyzed data show hypertension control rates worsening, not improving. Released October 2020, the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Control Hypertension (Call to Action) seeks to avert the negative health effects of hypertension by identifying evidence-based interventions that can be implemented, adapted, and expanded in diverse settings across the United States. Additional resources, including a Partner Toolkit, can be found on the CDC's High Blood Pressure website.

Release the Pressure Campaign

This campaign was created by a coalition of health care organizations dedicated to partnering with the Black community to improve heart health. 
The Release the Pressure (RTP) campaign brings together a diverse coalition of health care organizations - the RTP Heart Health Squad - who are dedicated to partnering with the Black community to improve heart health. The COVID-19 pandemic and recent coverage of ongoing verbal and physical violence against Black people has increased the visibility of long-standing inequities, therefore, the RTP Heart Health Squad will use its collective reach, influence, and resources to reduce disparities in hypertension and to advance health equity.

PSAs Promoting and Protecting Heart Health from Million Hearts®

During the COVID-19 pandemic, cardiovascular health remains a top public health priority – with heart disease and stroke continuing to be the #1 and #5 leading causes of death in the United States. In a recent MMWR article, the CDC reported visits to the emergency department significantly declined for heart attacks (23%) and strokes (20%) in the 10 weeks following the declaration of the COVID-19 national emergency.

CDC recognizes that those with serious heart conditions are at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, there are higher death rates in those with cardiovascular disease, and that the United States has continued to see a reduction in emergency care for life-threatening cardiovascular events. Due to this, we felt compelled to deliver key messages in the form of PSAs to the general public.

Million Hearts® encourages you to use, disseminate, and post these two PSAs to help promote and protect heart health during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. We also ask for your support in sharing these PSAs with your partners and stakeholders. Please click the following to access and view the “Emergency Care for Heart Disease During COVID-19” PSA and the “Maintaining Heart Health During COVID-19” PSA. These short (30-second), animated PSAs encourage individuals to seek emergency care for heart attacks or strokes and to promote the importance of heart health management, especially during COVID-19.

The Million Hearts® Initiative is dedicated to preventing 1 million heart attacks, strokes, and related conditions by 2022. Together we can remind Americans to focus on their heart health, especially during COVID-19.If you would like a PDF copy of the Partner Activation Toolkit which provides sample social media posts, digital communications copy and messaging to support your dissemination, contact, with “Million Hearts® PSAs” in the subject line.

Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring at Home Policy Statement

Self-measured blood pressure (SMBP) offers clinical benefits and the potential for being cost-effective over blood pressure (BP) monitoring conducted in a medical office. Still, improvements in patient education, provider training and insurance coverage are needed for the broader adoption of the practice.  Of the millions of Americans with hypertension, less than half have the condition under control, with many cases going undiagnosed.

Barriers to the widespread use of SMBP monitoring deter its wider implementation in the US. The Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring at Home Policy Statement from the American Health Association and the American Medical Association offers recommendations to address these barriers. The policy statement reviews the effectiveness of SMBP monitoring in diagnosing and managing hypertension, which is critical to narrowing disparities and improving blood pressure control in low-income, and medically underserved communities, rural communities and communities of color that experience significant disparities in hypertension rates.

New Languages for Great 8

The Great 8 Communication tool is now available in 27 languages, including Karen, Lao, and Urdu. Visit the Great 8 Tool for cardiovascular health improvement. Also new for Great 8, we have a short (14 min.) video introducing and demonstrating how to use it. In order to view this video recording, registration with the Washington Association for Community Health is required.

Revised 2020 Million Hearts Hypertension Control Change Package

Optimal blood pressure control is within our reach. While the science behind cardiovascular risk reduction is continually evolving, strong evidence suggests that the systematic approach to hypertension management can significantly improve hypertension-related care processes and outcomes.

CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention is pleased to announce the release of the second edition of the Million Hearts® Hypertension Control Change Package (HCCP), available at: This update was prompted by the release of updated clinical guidelines, development of new resources, and advances in quality improvement.

COVID- 19 Resources

What would you like to do?

This site contains information, resources, links, and actions to take to improve the health of our communities and reduce the impact of cardiovascular disease in our state.