AstraZeneca Healthcare Foundation awards seven US nonprofits more than $900k to improve heart health and advance health equity

Today on World Heart Day, the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation has awarded seven innovative, community-based nonprofit organizations $954,311 in grants across seven US states to address cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death in the nation.

The grants are part of the Foundation’s signature Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM (CCH) Next Generation program, now in its second year, which aims to improve heart health in the US, particularly among historically disregarded and underserved populations, through tailored approaches that best meet the needs of local communities.

The awardee programs are working to advance health equity by increasing participant health screenings; cardiovascular disease prevention and management; nutrition education; access to healthcare and behavioral health services; physical activity and health coaching through health clinics, coalitions and more.

“Healthy communities start with healthy hearts, which is why CCH Next Generation is working to reduce health disparities among underserved communities by addressing the underlying issues related to cardiovascular disease,” said Christie Bloomquist, President of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation Board and Vice President, US Corporate Affairs at AstraZeneca,  “Following a successful first year of programming, we’re thrilled to continue to support our grant awardees’ life-changing, community-level initiatives, with the goal of improving heart health and driving health equity across the US.”

In addition to grant giving, CCH Next Generation includes an innovative peer-to-peer mentorship component, where current awardees are partnered with an experienced awardee mentor to provide support and guidance to help them successfully implement their programming.

Since 2010, the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM and CCH Next Generation programs have collectively provided more than $25 million in grants to 58 organizations nationwide, reaching more than 1.7 million people. To-date, more than 67,000 program participants have had their heart health progress tracked and as a result, participants are making lifestyle changes that lead to better health and lower their risk for cardiovascular disease.

This year’s AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation CCH Next Generation grant awardees are:

Camino Health Center (Camino Community Development Corporation Inc.) in Charlotte, N.C.; $150,000: “Camino Vida” aims to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in individuals living with chronic disease, including hypertension, type-2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, through individualized, culturally sensitive healthy eating and physical activity plans offered by health professionals in a trusted community setting.

Catherine’s Health Center in Grand Rapids, Mich.; $55,000: “Healthy Heart Team/Whole Hearts” combines outreach, education and screening with team-based, patient-centered care and onsite counseling, treatment and support for underlying mental health issues to help low-income, underserved individuals participate in health promotion/disease prevention activities to overcome complex obstacles and achieve better cardiovascular and overall health. Catherine’s Health Center also serves as a peer-to-peer mentor for currently funded awardees.

Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio in Columbus, Ohio; $149,700: “Farmacy in the City: Cardiovascular Care at a co-located Charitable Pharmacy and Fresh Market” is working to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality risk by helping reduce body weight and blood pressure and optimizing medication in underserved patients with existing cardiovascular disease, obesity or hypertension. The program pairs healthy, fresh produce with pharmacy care and follow up through a partnership with the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio and a fresh food market.

Good News Clinics Inc. in Gainesville, Ga.; $149,935: “Healthy Hearts 4 Life” aims to screen and identify patients with cardiovascular disease as well as patients with risk factors and health behaviors that have a negative impact on cardiovascular health and provide medical treatments and behavioral counseling to help patients make lifestyle changes that lead to improved health outcomes.

HealthVisions Midwest Inc. in Hammond, Ind.; $149,676: “HEART: Healthy Eating, Active Living, Reduce Stress, Test your Numbers” works to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease of low-income, underserved communities through a comprehensive wellness program of healthy eating, physical activity, disease self-management skills, medical services and personalized care planning. The program addresses barriers to increase physical activity and consumption of healthy foods, as well as improve self-management skills, health literacy and clinical outcomes.

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic in Oklahoma City, Okla.; $150,000: “Healthy Hearts on the Go: Linking Cardiovascular Disease to Diabetes Management for American Indians” aims to increase engagement in the central Oklahoma American Indian community through innovative, youth-led cardiovascular disease awareness strategies that improve the quality of cardiovascular disease care. The program includes community-based and telehealth interventions that improve lifestyle behaviors such as nutrition and physical activity; increase access to cardiovascular disease interventions; and improve clinical cardiovascular disease measures.

The Wellness Coalition in Montgomery, Ala.; $150,000: “HeartLink – Improving Cardiovascular Health in the Alabama River Region” works to improve the cardiovascular health and health behaviors of uninsured and underinsured adults in Alabama’s River Region. The program also works to improve participant knowledge of self-management techniques through access to primary care, health insurance, free/low-cost medications and community resources and self-management of cardiovascular disease, delivered by trained wellness navigators providing wellness case management and chronic disease self-management education.

About AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation
The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation works to address health disparities in the US through strategic grant-giving and capacity building support for nonprofit organizations. The Foundation also provides financial support for AstraZeneca employees affected by federally declared disasters in the US. Established in 1993 as a nonprofit charitable organization, the Foundation is a separate legal entity from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals with distinct legal restrictions. Its current signature program, Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM Next Generation, aims to improve heart health in the US, particularly among historically disregarded and underserved populations, through tailored approaches that best meet the needs of local communities. For more information and the latest updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and visit