Students provide free blood pressure screenings in churches Sunday

Oakland, Calif. (February 28, 2016) — Students from Samuel Merritt University will fan out to churches and community centers located in underserved neighborhoods across the East Bay to provide free blood pressure screenings as part of a national event to raise awareness about heart health.

Known as “Hypertension Sunday,” the students, along with 200-300 healthcare professionals from local hospitals and universities will screen an estimated 2,000 people at 40 sites. The free event, which has taken place more than 25 years, is known as the annual “Frank E. Staggers, Sr., MD, Hypertension Screening and Education Sunday,” and named after the beloved physician who founded the Ethnic Health Insitute in Oakland.

“There are still too many uninsured people or those who can not afford basic health services,” said Joyce J. Gray, MHA, Program Director of the Ethnic Health Institute at Samuel Merritt University. “It is vital we reach these clients now because hypertension is often silent, and can be fatal. We want to educate people what to lo look for and make sure they know the risk factors they can control.”

Heart disease is the number one killer in both men and women in the United States. Recognizing the impact of heart disease in all communities, and particularly the disparities in underserved communities, Hypertension Sunday was launched in places of worship throughout the East Bay.

In addition, partnering community organizations will share health education information, including the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, National Kidney Foundation, Asian American Donor Program, East Bay AIDS Center, East Bay Regional Park, Niroga Institute, Self Care Reform and Urban Zen.

An “army of healthcare providers” will stage at 6230 Claremont Ave. Oakland, CA, before deploying to sites.


Who: SMU students provide free blood pressure screenings to underserved at churces

What: Hypertension Sunday  

When: Sunday, February 28, 8 a.m.,

Where: 6230 Claremont Ave. Oakland, CA and various churches

Event Contact: Joyce Gray, 510-869-8224,

Media Contact: Justin Berton, 510-499-6305,

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