Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the country, accounting for one out of every five deaths. To reduce this statistic, our primary care practices have been dedicated to reducing patients’ high blood pressure and saving lives.
UT Health Physicians has been recognized by The American Heart Association® and the American Medical Association for improving patients' blood pressure and helping decrease their risk of heart attack and stroke.
All of our primary care locations were awarded the Target: BP Gold+ recognition.
This important designation honors primary care practices for demonstrating a commitment to measurement accuracy and having 70 percent or more of their adult patient population with high blood pressure controlled in 2021. It is the highest distinction possible in the Target: BP program.
“Almost 1,300 health care organizations across the nation were recognized, but UT Health Physicians is the only practice in San Antonio to be awarded this distinction,” said Ramon Cancino, MD, MBA, MS, FAAFP, director of primary care at UT Health Physicians. “By controlling blood pressure, our providers are decreasing heart attacks and strokes in our patients and saving lives. Patients can trust that when they visit our primary care providers, we are focused on ensuring that their full scope of care is being met and that if they have high blood pressure, it is being addressed more effectively than at most practices across the country.”
How we're helping patients take control of their blood pressure
To combat heart disease in our community, our providers closely monitor patients' blood pressure and work to reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke.
“We monitor each patient’s health data closely and reach out to those with concerning blood pressure via telephone or patient portal messages so we can arrange appropriate follow-up. Our staff and clinicians work diligently to measure accurately, act rapidly, and partner with our patients in protecting their health,” said David Cadena, MD, UT Health Hill Country medical director.
When patients visit UT Health San Antonio's primary care physicians, they have a team of health care professionals working together to identify red flags, prevent problems and manage chronic conditions.
“Caring for patients is a team effort. From our front office contacting patients and our medical assistants accurately measuring their blood pressure - to our clinicians acting quickly to review and discuss results with their patients,” said Ruby Mathew, ACNP. “The patient is the captain of our team – our main focus. We partner with our patients to find ways to control their blood pressure, whether that’s through diet and lifestyle changes or medication. We keep the “whole patient” in mind. For example, some patients know their anxiety raises their blood pressure. From there, we work to tackle the root cause of their anxiety, resulting in improved blood pressure.”
UT Health San Antonio is a designated Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH). Meaning our primary care patients have access to an extensive network of specialists and, in this case, board-certified cardiologists who can work with a patient's established care team to provide specialized, coordinated care.
Committed care throughout the pandemic
Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UT Health primary care team continued to welcome patients in-office to provide the highest level of care. “While video visits and telemedicine are important for medical issues, in-office visits with your physician are invaluable,” said Cancino. "Our team worked diligently to safely see patients in-person during the pandemic to ensure that their blood pressure was correctly checked and medication adjustments could be safely made.”
Throughout the pandemic, and still today, all primary care locations offer in-person and virtual visits to keep everyone healthy and safe. Our newest location, UT Health De Zavala, which opened in early 2022, looks forward to continuing the tradition of better blood pressure control in our community.
To make an appointment at any of our primary care locations, visit UTHealthCare.org/primarycare.
To learn more about Target: BP, click here.