The Council began in 1978 as the Maine High Blood Pressure Council in response to rising awareness that elevated blood pressure was a major risk factor for heart disease. At that time, there were no published guidelines for treatment of elevated blood pressure, few efforts to screen for it, and little training for proper methods of measurement or for calibration of measurement instruments. There were few efforts to educate the public about this "silent killer" which could be controlled through behavior changes and medication.
In 1989, in recognition that other risk factors for heart disease also needed to be addressed, the Council changed its name to The Maine Cardiovascular Health Council.
Through the years, the Council has worked closely with the Maine CDC (formerly known as the Maine Bureau of Health) to prepare and publish their strategic plan for improving cardiovascular health and assisted the Bureau to secure major CDC funding to improve Cardiovascular Health in Maine. The Council serves in an advisory role to the Maine Cardiovascular Health Program, helping with updating strategic plans and providing several committees and work groups to guide the Maine program.
The Council offers hands-on training workshops to provide skills for community screening programs. The workshops have included blood pressure training (both for the layperson and health care providers); nutrition, physical activity, smoking cessation counseling techniques; and cholesterol information and screening skills.