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Release the Pressure

It’s in all of us—the power to protect our heart and the hearts of those we love. And now, more than ever, during the COVID-19 pandemic and with the recent media coverage highlighting the ongoing violence against Black people, it’s critical that we support each other. Commit to partnering with a health care professional, virtually or in-person, and encourage your squad–family and friends–to stay healthy too.

If you're ready to be part of a healthy blood pressure movement, join us.

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Take the pledge AND LEARN HOW YOU CAN:

1. Set A BP Goal With A Health Care Professional

Connect with your health care professional to schedule an appointment, whether in-person or virtually (ask if phone or video calls are an option). These resources can help you prepare.

Understanding Home BP Numbers

2. Monitor Your Blood Pressure At Home
Once you know your blood pressure goal and numbers, it’s important to keep track at home. These resources can show you how.

BP Measurement Training Video

Learn the key steps to accurately measuring your blood pressure at home.

Measuring BP Accurately
Tracking Your BP Numbers
3. Activate Your Wellness Plan
Create a wellness plan to stay healthy with family and friends. These healthy cooking, physical activity, and meditation resources can help you get started.

3 Health Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness - by Headspace

Meditation and mindfulness are popular forms of self care for good reason: they can offer some surprising health benefits.

Wake Up

Start your day on a positive note with some light, mindful exercise from Headspace.

Wind Down

Relax the mind and body at the end of the day with some mindful movements from Headspace.

Guided Meditations &
Sleepcasts by Headspace

Soothe the mind with guided meditations, or get ready for bed with a sleepcast.  
download audio
Stressed Meditation
Restored Meditation
After Carnival Sleepcast
4. Check-In With Your Squad
Stay connected and motivated by checking in with your squad regularly. Get creative during COVID - use phone calls, video chat, or email - whatever works to help you achieve goals and stick with your heart wellness plans. These articles can provide some inspiration. Click each one to find out.


ESSENCE Festival Wellness House: Ask a Doctor

ESSENCE Festival Wellness House: The State of Health in the Black Community

Dr. Patrice Harris answers
common COVID-19 questions


Power Moment with Janay "JSmiles" Smith

Power Moment with Dr. Rani Whitfield

Power Moment with Tamara G

meet our heart health squad

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.

American Medical Association

Mission Statement

The American Medical Association’s mission is to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.

Statement on the Importance of the RTP Coalition Work

The American Medical Association looks forward to working with the Release The Pressure Heart Health Squad to ensure that the Black community has the power, information, knowledge, opportunities, conditions, and resources to achieve optimal health and wellness.

American Heart Association

Mission Statement

The mission of the American Heart Association is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.

Statement on the Importance of the RTP Coalition Work

Our work with the coalition is part of the American Heart Association’s on-going efforts to build a sustainable culture of health among diverse communities, in particular reaching key populations with high blood pressure messaging to impact heart health for generations. Cardiovascular disease claims the lives of more Black women than all forms of cancer, accidents, assaults and Alzheimer’s Disease – combined. For decades, the death rate due to cardiovascular disease and stroke among African Americans has been higher than that of all other race/ ethnicity groups. We’re here to improve health, reduce the gap in health disparities, and achieve equitable health and well-being for all Americans.

American Medical Association Foundation

Mission Statement

The AMA Foundation’s mission is to bring together physicians and communities to improve the nation’s health.

Statement on the Importance of the RTP Coalition Work

The AMA Foundation is proud to join the AMA as part of the Release The Pressure heart health squad in forging new alliances to reduce disparities in chronic disease. AMAF looks forward to being part of the Release The Pressure coalition to support the heart health of African Americans.

Association of Black Cardiologists

Mission Statement

The mission of the Association of Black Cardiologists is to promote the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, including stroke, in Blacks and other minorities and to achieve health equity for all through the elimination of disparities.

Statement on the Importance of the RTP Coalition Work

The Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC), over many decades, has created extensive community health promotion programs for blood pressure control, including Baltimore, MD, New Orleans, LA and numerous geographically diverse sites. The concept of using barbershops, beauty salons, and faith-based locations as hypertension control sites has historically been a major component of the ABC commitment to the Black community. Training community health advocates as hypertension control advocates has been an integral component of our community programs to prevent hypertension. The ABC is pleased to participate in this collaborative effort which augments the ABC long history of national events, educational seminars and outreach to the Black community to improve blood pressure control and overall cardiovascular health.

Minority Health Institute

Mission Statement

The mission of the Minority Health Institute is to advance the health and wellness of communities of color and those in financial need.

Statement on the Importance of the RTP Coalition Work

The work of the coalition is important to the Minority Health Institute because one of our objectives is to partner with groups that have the same goals as ours so that together we can have a more powerful impact upon our common adversary, high blood pressure in Blacks.

National Medical Association

Mission Statement

The National Medical Association promotes the collective interests of physicians and patients of African descent. The mission of the organization is to advance the art and science of medicine for people of African descent through education, advocacy, and health policy to promote health and wellness, eliminate health disparities, and sustain physician viability.

Statement on the Importance of the RTP Coalition Work

The National Medical Association celebrates the collaboration to highlight the importance of blood pressure control and management. African Americans not only have the highest rates of hypertension in the US, but earlier onset. The implications of disparity of hypertension in African American men and women has remained a focus of the National Medical Association as we continue to pursue the elimination of health disparities. The NMA is optimistic the tools and education embodied in this coalition will galvanize a movement and commitment to “Release The Pressure”.

Take the Pledge and Share with Your Squad