AstraZeneca - Connections for Cardiovascular Health announces $173,700 grant to Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program, today announced a grant of $173,700 to the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center in support of Dial Down Diabetes. This is the second consecutive year in which the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center has received a grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, totaling $339,564.

Dial Down Diabetes (DDD) is geared toward the African American and Latino community with the intention to develop a comprehensive community-based program for low-income adults with diagnosed diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes. The program aims to enable patients to "dial down" the impact that diabetes has in their lives.

After its first full year of funding from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, patients in the DDD program reported a 10 percent reduction in A1c hemoglobin levels while 25 percent of patients and their family members are attending exercise classes during the week. More than 70 percent of DDD patients are making healthier food choices as a result of attending ongoing healthy cooking demonstration workshops, according to the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center.

“Our patients have benefited greatly from the expanded programming. It’s encouraging to see the impact it’s making in their lives as well as their families,” said Jeffrey McKissack, Matthew Walker C.E.O. “Our provider and health education staff look forward to assisting our patients continue meeting their goals in 2013. The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s support has been key to allowing us to sponsor regular workshops and educational sessions for our patients and the broader community.”

The program strives to reach an additional 1,500 individuals in the community by implementing educational outreach for diabetes. Realizing the need for many patients to receive one-on-one education, the program partners with Nashville Parks and Recreations, Austin Peay School of Nursing, Belmont University College of Pharmacy, and the Metropolitan Nashville alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. DDD participants have a case manager assigned to them and participate in "how to" healthy cooking classes, receive "scholarships" to local recreational center fitness classes and participate in community-based fun walks.

“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 Matthew Walker’s Dial Down Diabetes, 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 Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center

Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center focused on serving the needs of residents in Middle Tennessee. Matthew Walker, a 501(c)3 organization, strives to provide a comprehensive primary care service model for those without insurance. The comprehensive model includes pediatrics, pharmacy, behavioral health, dental, laboratory, ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynecology, and social services. Based on the patient’s ability to pay, these services are discounted using a sliding discount fee scale. In 2011, over 71 percent of the (32,000) patients helped by Matthew Walker in five clinic sites across Middle Tennessee providers were underinsured or uninsured.

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
Keith Belton, Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center 615-324-9678