AstraZeneca - Connections for Cardiovascular Health announces $210,000 grant to Ashland-Boyd County Health Department

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program today announced a grant of $210,000 to the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s Ashland-Boyd County Health Department to support the “Appalachian Partnership for Positive Living and Eating (A.P.P.L.E).”

A.P.P.L.E. is a new program designed to help families improve the health and well-being of their children. The only one of its kind in the state of Kentucky, the program identifies participants by measuring the body mass index of an estimated 3,500 elementary-aged children at three school districts across Boyd County. Students identified as overweight are invited to participate in the program.

"We are thrilled to be a grant recipient of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation's Connections for Cardiovascular Health program," said Maria Hardy, MSN, Ashland-Boyd County Health Department's Public Health Director. "The A.P.P.L.E. program has the potential to save lives in Boyd County by helping local children and families overcome challenges to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and by reducing their risk of developing cardiovascular disease."

Once students are identified as participants in the program, case managers then work one-on-one with families to support them in making lifestyle changes to improve the health of their children and their quality of life. Families move through different levels of interventions, addressing barriers to good health in three phases: Intensive Community-Based Case Management, School-based Supervision and Health Maintenance.

“Cardiovascular disease continues to be the nation’s No. 1 killer, which is why we must work to decrease the risks of this devastating disease," said James W. Blasetto, M.D., MPH, FACC chairman of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation. "The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation is proud to provide funding to innovative, grassroots programs like Ashland Boyd County Health Department’s A.P.P.L.E. program, which work to help prevent and control the effects of cardiovascular disease in their community."

During the first three to six months, families are provided with the most intensive case management at home. In the following months, the participants progress to a school-based phase. Once children reach all goals recorded in their Individualized Treatment Plan, they progress to the maintenance stage and are routinely monitored by program staff. A staff nutritionist works closely with families to provide nutrition counseling, help caregivers read and understand nutrition labels, develop grocery lists and prepare healthy meals on a budget. A physical activity coordinator assesses current physical activity levels and helps families increase opportunities for physical activity. Mental health providers are available to assist families throughout the health improvement process.

The Connections for Cardiovascular Health program awards grants of $150,000 and up to US-based non-profit organizations that are doing innovative work in the field of cardiovascular health. This year, the Foundation has awarded more than $4.4 million in grants to 22 organizations. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded nearly $11 million across the United States to help improve cardiovascular health.

Organizations can learn more and apply online for a Foundation grant at www.astrazeneca-us.com/foundation. Applications must be submitted online no later than 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 28, 2013.

About Ashland-Boyd County Health Department

Ashland-Boyd County Health Department is located in the Appalachian highlands of eastern Kentucky where the state lines of Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia meet. Our mission, "To improve the quality of life for all who live, work and play in Boyd County through disease prevention, health promotion, environmental safety and public health preparedness" is rooted in our long a proud history of serving the residents of our small, yet vibrant community.

About the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation

Established in 1993, the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation is a Delaware not-for-profit corporation and a 501(c)(3) entity organized for charitable purposes including to promote public awareness of healthcare issues, to promote public education of medical knowledge and to support or contribute to charitable and qualified exempt organizations consistent with its charitable purpose. Connections for Cardiovascular Health was launched in 2010 through a charitable contribution of $25 million from AstraZeneca.

Media Inquiries

AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation Media Line 302-885-2677
Holly West, Ashland-Boyd County Health Department 606-329-9444 ext. 2223