4th Annual

A Goal to Drive Change




The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group as one of its 24 winners of the 2017 Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge, the sole one from California.

The winners used proven strategies to help their patients achieve blood pressure control at rates at or above the target of 70 percent set by the Million Hearts initiative.

“We are excited to showcase successful strategies used by our 2017 Champions to keep blood pressure under safe control, prevent heart attacks and strokes, and save lives,” said Janet Wright, M.D., the executive director of Million Hearts.

Dr. Parag Agnihotri, the Medical Director of Continuum of Care at Sharp-Rees Stealy Medical Group, detailed the key ways his organization achieved the milestone singled out by the award.

The Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group has nearly 600 physicians and nurse practitioners who offer comprehensive medical services to nearly 300,000 patients in 21 clinics countywide.

The medical group began an intensive program in March of 2015 to help 44,000 patients countywide to control their high blood pressure.

“The goal was for everyone to get behind this goal to drive change,” the director said.

How they met that goal went on the performance report card of the CEO, the physicians, the nurse managers and the clinic staff, he said.

A data analytics team was formed and serves as the backbone of the program, providing valuable information about patient demographics, treatment approaches, medication bundles, among other factors.

The medical group hired health coaches and pharmacists especially trained to motivate patients to manage their blood pressure.

Dr. Agnihotri said the leading factor to achieving control-rate targets is participating in the Be There San Diego collaborative, which shares the best practices of other healthcare organizations.

“We all face similar problems on this issue,” he said, “we are not alone in this journey.”

He’s familiar with the power of working in a collaborative. He was one the founding members of the Right Care Initiative in Sacramento, which promoted public-private partnerships to reduce deaths from heart attacks, strokes and complications from diabetes.  And he’s been a member of the Be There San Diego Executive Committee for several years.

Currently, 82 percent of the medical group’s patients with high blood pressure have their condition under control, Dr. Agnihotri said.

He prefers to focus on another number: 90,600. That’s how many more patients have their blood pressure under control than before the program started, and are on the road to better health.

Tags:  Newsletter, 2018

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