Oakland, CA (March 5, 2019) – Blue Shield of California and the American Heart Association launched a new free self-service blood pressure kiosk for East Oakland residents at the Roots Community Clinic. Hypertension impacts 20 percent of the patients at the clinic, which is 60 percent higher than the national average.
“As a resident of Oakland for almost 25 years and with our headquarters moving to Oakland later this year, it is important for Blue Shield to be a part of the solution to creating a healthy society for all people,” stated Paul Markovich, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California.
According to AHA, high blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” because it usually has no symptoms. More than 40% of non-Hispanic African-American men and women, and approximately 22% of Hispanic adults have high blood pressure. The new self-service blood pressure kiosk is designed to reduce the impact of high blood pressure, provide early diagnosis, and increase access to care at Roots.
The American Heart Association is relentless about improving the health of our communities,” says Maria Olson, Senior Vice President, American Heart Association, Bay. “With Blue Shield of California, we can reach thousands with prevention tools such as the free blood pressure kiosk at the Roots Clinic.”
Former professional basketball player, entrepreneur and investor Baron Davis partnered with Blue Shield on this effort because they are talking about health topics that make people a little uncomfortable and are fighting for health parity, health justice and health equity. “You only have one life, so make it a good one,” stated Davis. “Get your blood pressure checked, eat more vegetables, walk more, and move more -- do it for your family and our community.”
The free community health fair included blood pressure monitoring, a healthy lunch and an introduction dance class to get the blood flowing. Community partners such as Lava Mae and Haircuts with Heart provided free services.
Blue Shield of California and the Blue Shield of California Foundation has invested more than $10 million to various organizations in Oakland over the past two years including:
- Make Time for Health with the American Heart Association
- Roots Community Health Center with the American Heart Association
- Oakland Public Education Fund
- Native American Health Center
- Cristo Rey De La Salle’s Corporate Work Study
- Alliance for Boys and Men of Color
The partnership with Roots Community Clinic is part of the #80ForOakland campaign designed to celebrate the company’s 80th anniversary and move to the area as the company strives to integrate into the culture of the city by engaging residents through 80 events and activities.
About Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 4 million members, 6,800 employees and more than $17 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare health care service plans in California. The company’s mission is to ensure all Californians have access to high-quality care at an affordable price. Blue Shield has contributed more than $450 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation since 2002. Contact your local agent or broker about Blue Shield of California products and services, or visit www.blueshieldca.com.