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Community Intervention to Reduce Cardiovascular Disease in Chicago (CIRCL-Chicago) 

CIRCL-Chicago is a federally funded research program to improve high blood pressure (hypertension) control in the Chicago South Side community. In Chicago, the prevalence of high blood pressure is higher among Black than white residents, and that gap is widening.  

The CIRCL-Chicago study will evaluate the effectiveness of a community-driven adaptation of the Kaiser hypertension bundle, a collection of interventions and strategies designed to increase blood pressure control rates. The bundle includes a high blood pressure registry (i.e., list of patients), education on blood pressure measurement and treatment, feedback on blood pressure control rates, regular follow-up visits for blood pressure measurement, medication recommendations, and links to community resources.  

For this study, Northwestern has partnered with faith-based organizations (FBOs) and community health centers (CHCs) in the South Side of Chicago. This team-based approach will increase coordinated care between clinic and community settings to improve hypertension control for Chicago’s South Side residents.

 Blood Pressure Information for Participants

Resources in English
  1. Blood pressure -- What do the numbers mean?: Understand blood pressure readings
  2. DASH Eating Plan: Learn about the DASH diet focus on fruits and vegetables, low fat milk products,
    and whole grains
  3. How to Manage Blood Pressure: Learn how to read blood pressure numbers and get tips for managing blood pressure.
  4. Sodum Shakedown: Read about why we should limit sodium intake and see sodium amounts in common foods

Recursos en español (Resources in Spanish)

  1. Aprenda a leer las etiquetas de los alimentos: How to read food labels (Spanish)
  2. La presión arterial alta y la dieta DASH: An overview of high blood pressure and the DASH diet (Spanish)

 Community Events Schedule

Coming Soon

 Community Resources for Help on the South Side of Chicago

Housing Assistance

Food Assistance

Transportation Assistance

Electric, Gas, Oil, or Water Utility Billing Assistance

Resources for Safety or Violence:

Help with Barriers to Work

  • Phalanx Family Services: Bridges the gap of financial barriers that may prevent individuals from being successful as they transition into work activity, training, and employment. Financial assistance available to help stabilize housing.

 Blood Pressure Intervention (Kaiser Bundle)

The CIRCL-Chicago research study will evaluate the effectiveness of a community-driven adaptation of the Kaiser hypertension bundle. This figure illustrates how CIRCL-Chicago will implement the adaptation.


 Clinical Resources

  1. Adult Blood Pressure Clinician Guide: Based on the 2018 Kaiser Permanente National Blood Pressure (BP) Guidelines, the guide was developed to assist with screening and treatment of elevated BP in non-pregnant adults aged ≥ 18 years.
  2. BP Treatment Algorithm -- Patients with Stage 2 Hypertension Not on Medication: An ACCESS Community Health Network flow chart to aid in decision making around medication prescribing
  3. Cardiovascular Health Medication Adherence ACTION STEPS for Public Health Practitioners: Strategies and example actions that can improve medication adherence
  4. CIRCL-Chicago Blood Pressure Measurement Protocol: A 6-step guide for measuring blood pressure
  5. Improving hypertension surveillance from a data management prospective: Data requirements for implementation of population-based registry: Article describing a study that provides infrastructure for active tracing and monitoring of individuals with HTN
  6. Million Hearts Hypertension Control Change Package: Process improvements that outpatient clinical settings can implement for optimal hypertension control
  7. U.S. Blood Pressure Validated Device Listing (VDL): The American Medical Association convened experts to develop VDL Criteria to determine which automated blood pressure (BP) measurement devices have been validated for clinical accuracy
  8. Visit Checklist -- Supporting Your Patients with High Blood Pressure

 Study Results

Co-Principal Investigators:
Abel Kho, MD, MS, FACMI
Paris Davis, PhD, MBA
JD Smith, PhD

Community Organization Collaborators:
Total Resource Community Development Organization

Clinical Partners:
ACCESS Community Health Network
Advocate Aurora Health

Academic Research Collaborators:
University of Chicago
University of Utah
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

This project is supported by a Disparities Elimination through Coordinated Interventions to Prevent and Control Heart and Lung Disease Risk (DECIPHeR) award of the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under Award Number UH3HL154297. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. 

Contact the CIRCL-Chicago team with any questions, or if you're interested in participating in the research study.

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