Free programs that could save your life: Alaska’s Fresh Start programs can help lower your blood pressure

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Fresh Start – Free Programs for Better Health

Free programs that could save your life: Alaska’s Fresh Start programs can help lower your blood pressure

JUNE 20, 2023 — Victory had high blood pressure and didn’t know it. The Anchorage flight attendant knew she felt stressed at her job with ever-changing hours and at home caring for a daughter with special needs.


Victory remembers receiving an unexpected email about an online program in Alaska to feel better for free.



I'm just so happy this program popped up when it did. It definitely saved my life. Victory from Anchorage

“It just hit me at the right moment,” she said.


Participating online was the best way for Victory to join, given her job that required travel and inconsistent hours. She filled out the application and enrolled.


The program Victory joined is one of Alaska’s free, flexible Fresh Start programs to meet many health goals. The Alaska Department of Health has been offering programs to lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar to prevent or manage diabetes, lose weight, stop smoking or vaping, and be active as a family. This year, the department made it easier to find and join these programs by organizing all of them on one website at The Fresh Start campaign launched in late December 2022. Fresh Start continues this year to offer flexible programs that you do in the way that works best for you. Many programs can be done online or by phone, wherever you are.


Fresh Start can help improve a health problem you may not know you have

High blood pressure is tricky. You can have it and not even know it. Having high blood pressure doesn’t always feel a certain way in your body. It’s not like sprinting a mile and feeling out of breath at the end. You can go through a whole workday and head home for dinner without knowing you’d spent hours with high blood pressure. During that day, high blood pressure strained your blood vessels and made your heart work harder to pump blood throughout your body.


The lack of symptoms with high blood pressure means it’s important to regularly check your blood pressure at visits to the doctor or at home. Having undetected or untreated high blood pressure can increase your chances of having a heart attack, stroke and other serious health problems. You can lower blood pressure by improving what you eat and drink, getting regular activity, managing stress, taking medications if needed, and more. That can help you feel better now and prevent more health problems later.


Victory received a free blood pressure cuff when she started the online Fresh Start program. Blood pressure is measured with two numbers. At first, Victory’s measurements for the first blood pressure number were over 160. The goal is for that first number to be less than 120.


“Obviously I was under a lot of stress,” Victory said. “This was a serious wake-up call that the stress and not taking care of myself was literally killing me.”


Surprised by the high readings, Victory said she became serious about making changes.


She was approaching her 50th birthday and wanted to feel better. She worked with a coach and high blood pressure specialist through the program. She met with a doctor about her blood pressure, prioritized getting activity, and used brief meditations to lower her stress. She read short weekly updates from the program and applied what she learned about improving food choices and portions. Victory said she lost about 15 pounds and lowered her blood pressure during the program.


“I’m just so happy this program popped up when it did,” Victory said. “It definitely saved my life.”


How to enroll to lower blood pressure

Alaskans can apply to join the free Fresh Start online program that Victory used to lower blood pressure.  This program and other online Fresh Start programs are offered through a company called Omada Health. Omada Health reported the results of its online program for Alaskans who participated for months in a row and consistently had their first measurement of blood pressure (called systolic) at 140 or higher. On average, those Alaskans lowered their systolic blood pressure by 12 points. Studies show that reducing systolic blood pressure by 10 points significantly lowers your chances of stroke, heart disease, heart failure and all causes of death.


To join Alaska’s free program to lower blood pressure, visit and click on the orange box that says “Lower Blood Pressure.” That opens a brief webpage that shares more program details. If this program is a good fit for you, click the line that says “Click here to check if you’re eligible.” That takes you to a website with an online enrollment form. Some Alaskans participate in this program through an employer-offered benefit, but Alaskans who are a good match for this program can participate at no cost if they don’t have an employer or if they don’t have health insurance.



Ready for a fresh start? Lose weight, gain energy, and lower blood pressure with a plan and all the tools and support you need. No cost to you.

Alaska’s Fresh Start program to lower blood pressure is offered through Omada Health. You can find out if you’re eligible for this free program at


Enrollments are increasing for free programs

Enrollments in Alaska’s free health improvement programs dramatically increased immediately after the Fresh Start campaign started promoting them in late December 2022. Between December 20, 2022, and June 16, 2023, more than 1,350 Alaska adults enrolled in Fresh Start online programs to lose weight, lower blood pressure, or lower blood sugar to prevent or manage diabetes. That's significantly more Alaskans enrolled in the first six months of the Fresh Start campaign than during the past three years combined (981 Alaskans enrolled). Since December 2022, almost 600 Alaskans joined a free online program to lower blood pressure.


Victory said the unexpected email she received about the program to feel better came at just the right time. She was ready to make a change and now she knew how to do it. If you’re ready to lower your blood pressure, visit to learn more and enroll.


Fresh Start – Free Programs for Better Health

Ready for change? Visit to find free programs for better health.


Thousands of Alaskans have joined. Are you ready? Contact with questions about the campaign and to request materials.