The Million Hearts Initiative

The Michigan Million Hearts initiative is part of Million Hearts®, a national initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are the co-leaders of Million Hearts within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, working alongside other federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Food and Drug Administration. Key private-sector partners include the American Heart Association, YMCA, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others.million hearts logo

Launched in September 2011, Million Hearts brings together public and private partners to enhance cardiovascular disease prevention activities and improve care by encouraging a target focus on the ABCS (aspirin when appropriate; blood pressure control; cholesterol management; and smoking cessation).

In 2014, as part of the initiative, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) selected Michigan and five other states (Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, North Dakota, and Virginia) to participate in a learning collaborative to improve blood pressure control. (Read both the MDHHS news release and the ASTHO news release announcing the funding.)

Each of the six states chosen for the learning collaborative was awarded at least $100,000 in funding. Michigan was awarded funding through the MDHHS Cardiovascular Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity Section. Michigan’s grant helped support a nine-month public health project in Muskegon County to increase control of — and reduce — high blood pressure. The project was implemented by a team of state and local partners. (Learn more about ASTHO's State Learning Collaborative to Increase Blood Pressure Control.)

Michigan Activities of Note

(Please note: The following information is adapted from the ASTHO website and was originally published at

As part of the State Learning Collaborative, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (previously the Michigan Department of Community Health) leads a team of state and local partners focused on one county (Muskegon County) and works with the CMS-funded care coordination program to build and implement effective referral and follow-up protocols from community screenings and a primary care clinic. The team also works with a primary care clinic-based care coordinator to implement best practices for assisting patients with managing high blood pressure through the engagement of Community Health Workers (CHWs).

Among the highlights of the work being done in Michigan:

  • Learning Collaborative State Snapshot (Michigan)
    This comprehensive "snapshot" summarizes Michigan's work through the Million Hearts Learning Collaborative, including a description of target populations, key partners, evidence-based practices, and project successes.
  • Local Health Agency's Role in Expanding Clinical and Community Partnerships (Michigan) (peer group call recording)
    In April 2015, ASTHO and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) co-hosted this call for local health agencies in the ASTHO Million Hearts State Learning Collaborative to further explore the role of local health agencies in the project and to provide a space for state-to-state discussion.

    NACCHO staff shared their portfolio of relevant resources for local health agencies, and Jill Montgomery-Keast from Public Health-Muskegon County (Muskegon, MI) presented about how they have leveraged quality improvement expertise from the local health agency and how they are working with clinical and community partners.
  • Management of Hypertension Protocol (Michigan)
    Health Delivery Inc.'s protocol provides a standard uniformity of care for detection, evaluation, and management of hypertension, to improve control of hypertension, and encourage patient education and self management. (Health Delivery Inc. is now Great Lakes Bay Health Centers.)
  • Michigan Health Delivery Flow Chart
    Health Delivery Inc.'s flowchart for persons with undiagnosed and/or uncontrolled hypertension standardizes the clinics' process for identifying and treating patients with hypertension.
  • The Great Lakes Border Health Initiative Public Health Data Sharing Agreement
    The purpose of this agreement is to facilitate sharing of public health related data, both individually identified and population-related, between signatories for the purpose of responding to a public health event. The focus is on infectious disease, but the agreement can serve as an example for states pursuing data agreements to improve hypertension control or chronic disease treatment.>
  • Treat to Target Hypertension Algorithm (Michigan)
    This document outlines the clinical hypertension management algorithm developed by the Lakeshore Health Network and Mercy Health in Muskegon County, Michigan. The algorithm includes blood pressure goals, antihypertensive medication dosing algorithms, monitoring lifestyle factors, and more.