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World Hypertension Day was May 17th, 2019.

The prevalence of hypertension in Canada continues to rise and is projected to cost $20.5 billion annually by 2020 [1]. #Knowyournumbers aims to address the estimated 20% of Canadians who are unaware of their hypertension [2].  The Cardiovascular Health Awareness Program (CHAP), is a long standing initiative with proven efficacy and cost effectiveness which answers the question: “What do I do with those numbers?”

CHAP programming offers the following:

  • Community settings where participants live, work or congregate.
  • Volunteer Health educators.
  • Automated blood pressure measurement devices recommended by Hypertension Canada [3].
  • Standardized risk assessments for cardiovascular disease and stroke.
  • Educational material about lifestyle modification and locally available resources to reduce risk.
  • Blood pressure results are shared with the participants’ primary care provider.

 CHAP is easy to implement in any community, has been rigorously evaluated and has been shown to add value in terms of the health and well-being of participants and volunteers without additional costs to the health care system [4].  CHAP has received many awards (ex: CIHR-CMAJ Top Canadian Achievements in Health Research Awards for 2012 ) and has been recognized by the BMJ  as one of 20 outstanding articles published since the mid 1990s [5] [6].

Since 2000, CHAP programs have directly impacted thousands of Canadians at risk for, or currently living with hypertension.  The initial studies have evolved into many research projects and additional pilot programs addressing various aspects of cardiovascular health while leveraging the resources and capacities of different communities.

‘CHAP has become such an embedded part of our community, people would complain if we didn’t continue the program; patients, clinics, Family Health Team staff, everyone’. (K Rosen, Pembroke.)  ‘We have had great support from local physicians’ (T Gabriel, Paris).  ‘Our CHAP volunteers are so committed to this program, some have been there for more than ten years’ (K Anderson, Oxford County).

CHAP is poised for greater impact; it has the evidence, history, and potential to be an integral part of a comprehensive sustained strategy to make a significant impact on hypertension in Canada.  For more information:

#knowyournumbers    …      #shareyournumbers with your healthcare provider


[1] C. Weaver, F. Clement, N. Campbell and M. James, “Healthcare Costs Attributable to Hypertension: Canadian Population-Based Cohort Study,” Hypertension, vol. 66, pp. 1-11, 13 July 2015.
[2] R. Padwal, A. Bienek, F. McAlister and N. Campbell, “Epidemiology of Hypertension in Canada: An Update,” Canadian Journal of Cardiology, vol. 32, pp. 687-694, 2016.
[3] Hypertension Canada, “Canadian Hypertension Education Program Guidelines for Blood pressure Measurement, Diagnosis, Assessment of Risk,Prevention and Treatment of Hypertension,” Canadian Journal of Cardiology, vol. 32, pp. 569-588, 2016.
[4] R. Goeree, C. von Keyserling and N. Burke, “Economic Appraisal of a Community wide Cardiovascular Health Awareness Program (CHAP),” Value in Health, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 39-45, 2013.
[5] J. Kaczorowski, L. Chambers and L. Dolovich, “Improving cardiovascular health at the population level: A 39 community cluster -randomized trial of the Cardiovascular Health Awareness Program (CHAP),” British Medical Journal, p. 342, 2011.
[6] British Medical Journal, “Twenty Top Papers to mark the BMJ two digital decades,” British Medical Journal, p. 351:h3660, 2015.

In memoriam for Beatrice (Bea) Ann McDonough

Beatrice (Bea) Ann McDonough:

We are saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend Beatrice (Bea) McDonough who passed away on February 21, 2015. Bea was a public health clinician with a research background in health promotion, population health, implementation research, knowledge translation and community development.

She was an integral part of our research team in the Department of Family Medicine working mainly on the Cardiovascular Health Awareness Program (CHAP) and the Truckers Research for Innovative Health Promotion Programs (TRIHPP).

Bea had an innate ability to mentor others, continually provided support and encouragement to her colleagues and trainees, and brought a positive energy to every project. She was a tireless advocate for the needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations and brought these issues to the forefront of her research. Bea was an accomplished researcher and teacher. She completed a Masters in Nursing Science and a Masters in Science and was working towards completing her PhD in health policy and organizational networks at the University of Toronto. She held cross appointments as an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University and as a clinical faculty member in the Faculty of Nursing at McMaster University. Bea tutored and supervised undergraduate and graduate students in Nursing and the Masters of Health Promotion programs.

Bea was a co-investigator with the CHAP for 13 years. In that time, she provided the health promotion context and chronic disease prevention risk mitigation perspective. She was also responsible for recruiting many of CHAP’s community partners and developing part of the training for the peer volunteer aspect of the program. Bea’s most recent contribution was as a co-lead for the Community Health Assessment Program through Emergency Medical Services (CHAP-EMS); a community based initiative focused on the promotion and prevention of chronic conditions in older adults living in subsidized housing.

Bea also co-led the Diffusion of Health Innovation area of work within the Hamilton area Hypertension Collaborative that focused on how the organization of community-based networks foster screening, prevention and management of blood pressure through knowledge transfer and integration of research into practice. Bea was also involved in workplace health and wellness research with vulnerable populations in health promotion focusing on nontraditional occupations, specifically the transportation industry.

She was the co-lead of the Canadian Health Institutes of Research (CIHR) funded project Primary Health Care and Truck Drivers, and a CIHR funded dissemination grant that hosted knowledge transfer workshops with stakeholders in the trucking industry. This workplace initiative is the first in Canada to examine male lone workers in the transport sector, both from an individual health risk perspective and an organizational workplace capacity perspective.

Bea’s research contributions reflected her focus on population health and primary health issues and the integration of community-based and primary health care approaches to chronic disease prevention and management. Bea breadth of knowledge, depth of commitment and positive energy made her a joy to work with as a research leader within the Department of Family Medicine.

Bea will be greatly missed by her colleagues.