Far Rockaway Library Manager Sharon Anderson; Shanon Morris, Senior Director of Community Impact for the American Heart Association in New York City; and QPL President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott at the loaner program kickoff.

Pictured above: Far Rockaway Library Manager Sharon Anderson; Shanon Morris, Senior Director of Community Impact for the American Heart Association in New York City; and QPL President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott at the loaner program kickoff.


Queens Public Library Partners with American Heart Association to Start Lending Blood Pressure Monitoring Kits at Far Rockaway Library

Far Rockaway is the first and only library in New York City to provide blood pressure self-monitoring machines

January 27, 2020 — Libraries serve as gateways to knowledge, culture and well-being. They play a fundamental role in many communities as places providing free access to resources and services. Thanks to a collaboration between Queens Public Library and the American Heart Association, the Far Rockaway branch at 1003 Beach 20th Street is now also a place to manage your blood pressure. It is currently the only New York City library loaning blood pressure cuffs.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, patrons can borrow blood pressure self-monitoring kits at the branch using only their library card. Adults will be able to borrow a cuff for one month with an option to renew it one time if needed.

In addition to launching a loaner program, the Far Rockaway branch will also have a blood pressure station for adults who don’t want to check out a cuff, but just use it when they visit the library.

“Queens Public Library is committed to building strong communities by offering access to a wide range of free wellness programs and services which help our customers stay healthy and thrive,” said Queens Public Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott. “I am grateful to the American Heart Association for this innovative partnership, and I want to recognize Far Rockaway Library Manager Sharon Anderson for her tireless efforts to identify and respond to the needs of this community.”

The Far Rockaway Library—which is currently operating out of a temporary space, while its new permanent state-of-the-art home is under construction—has long served as the center of community life. Its importance was well-demonstrated in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, when it was used to provide disaster relief to residents.

Far Rockaway Library Manager Sharon Anderson has played a pivotal role in building the partnership with the American Heart Association and helped identify the need for this valuable resource in the local community.

“Responding to the needs of our community, the Far Rockaway Library has hosted numerous health fairs and other wellness initiatives over the years,” said Anderson. “We welcome our partnership with the American Heart Association, which brings additional resources to our neighborhood, allowing our customers who don’t make regular visits to their doctors to monitor their blood pressure and seek help, if necessary.”


Pictured above: Shanon Morris, Senior Director of Community Impact for the American Heart Association in New York City, with the blood pressure monitoring kits now available at Far Rockaway Library.

High blood pressure or hypertension is often called the “silent killer” and is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, which together kill more New Yorkers than any other disease. According to the American Heart Association, nationwide, nearly half of US adults has hypertension with Black and Latino adults being more likely to have high blood pressure.

“Bringing resources to the communities that need it most is crucial to the mission of the American Heart Association,” said Shanon Morris, Senior Director of Community Impact for the Association in New York City. “We call hypertension the silent killer for a reason: if people don’t know their numbers, they can’t receive the treatment they need or make better choices that will help them live longer, healthier lives. We hope to empower residents to be advocates for their own health.”

The American Heart Association recommends regular monitoring for all people with high blood pressure to help the healthcare provider determine whether treatments are working.

While self-measured blood pressure is not a substitute for regular visits to your physician, it is a great way to track your numbers and the more information you can bring to your doctor when you visit, the more your treatment plan can be tailored to you.

About Queens Public Library
Queens Public Library is one of the largest and busiest public library systems in the United States, dedicated to serving the most ethnically and culturally diverse area in the country. An independent, non-profit organization founded in 1896, Queens Public Library offers free access to a collection of more than 5 million books and other materials in multiple languages, technology and digital resources, and more than 87,500 educational, cultural, and civic programs a year. It consists of 66 locations, including branch libraries, a Central Library, seven adult learning centers, a technology lab, two universal pre-kindergartens, and two teen centers.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke—the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases.

Contact: QPL—Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska, 718-990-0706; AHA—Diego Ortiz Quintero, 212-878-5903