AstraZeneca - Connections for Cardiovascular Health announces $253,297 grant to Foundation for Community Partnerships

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program today announced a grant of $253,297 to the Foundation for Community Partnerships in support of the Partnering for Youth Cardio-Fit Project. This is the second consecutive year in which the Foundation for Community Partnerships has received a grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, totaling $446,152.

The Partnering for Youth Cardio-Fit Project is targeted toward rural middle and elementary school children and their families. Based on the science supporting cardiovascular health, program participants will learn the value of a personal, lifelong commitment to fitness and nutrition via the Partnering for Youth After School Program.

After one year of funding from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, the Cardio-Fit Project provided essential life-enhancing information about cardiovascular health to more than 600 rural middle school students. Of the students surveyed, 91 percent reported “improved knowledge of fitness and nutrition” as a result of participating in the program. Over 65 percent of participants in the Cardio-Fit Project maintained or improved their PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run) performance compared with baseline results, exceeding the program’s goal of 55 percent. In addition, more than 60 percent of Cardio-Fit participants achieved PACER results in the age-leveled Healthy Fitness Zone.

“We have been amazed by how well our students respond to the lessons that connect their daily choices about diet and exercise to a lifetime of cardiovascular health,” said Kim Umberger, Partnering for Youth Program Director. “It has been a privilege implementing the Cardio-Fit Project in the middle schools and this new grant allows us to expand the program to elementary school students.”

Partnering for Youth Cardio-Fit inspires youth, families and the community to take positive, preventative actions now to maintain and achieve cardiovascular health by promoting healthy eating habits and physically active lifestyles. Expected outcomes include increased understanding of cardio health factors, benefits of daily physical activity and increased nutrition knowledge. The program also teaches the science behind nutrition and physical activity pertaining to cardiovascular health. Students understand the link between “what” and “why”; what they are told to do for their health and why it is important for their bodies.

“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 Foundation for Community Partnership’s Partnering for Youth Cardio-Fit, which work to help prevent and control the effects of cardiovascular disease in their community."

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 Foundation for Community Partnerships

The Foundation for Community Partnerships, a community foundation serving the Chesapeake Bay region, provides innovative leadership and support for exemplary programs like Partnering for Youth. Founded in 1995, the Partnering for Youth After School Program provides engaging academic, recreational and enrichment activities to promote the development of values, skills and relationships in Queen Anne’s County youth. For more information, contact Partnering for Youth at 410-758-4584 or the Foundation for Community Partnerships at 443-249-0606, www.creatinglegacies.org.

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
Linda kohler, foundation for Community Partnerships 443-249-0606