AstraZeneca - Connections for Cardiovascular Health announces $223,738 grant to University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program today announced a grant of $223,738 to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to support its “Healthy Living for Better Days” initiative.

Florida ranks third in the United States in the number of HIV/AIDS cases, while Miami-Dade County ranks first in the number of HIV/AIDS cases in Florida, according to the 2011 Florida Annual Report. “Healthy Living for Better Days” is designed to combine an exercise program and healthy eating education into a community program for improving overall and cardiovascular health status among low socioeconomic status people living with HIV/AIDS.

"The ‘Healthy Living for Better Days’ program aims to improve overall and cardiovascular health status among this patient population of Miami-Dade County, which has one of the highest rates of new HIV cases nationwide," said John E. Lewis, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. "All of our participants will have an opportunity to train for local walkathons to achieve and promote the ‘Healthy Living’ program."

The proposed program evolved from a study that investigated the effect of exercise training on immune functioning, metabolic variables and quality of life in individuals infected with HIV and of lower socioeconomic status. Given the positive findings and the needs of this population, the plan is to offer a 12-month community program that consists of cardiovascular and resistance exercise training performed three times a week, and bi-weekly classes on healthy eating based on the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans."

“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 the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s ‘Healthy Living for Better Days’ program, 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 Applications must be submitted online no later than 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 28, 2013.

About UHealth – University of Miami Health System

Powered by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s ground-breaking research, clinical trials, and medical education, UHealth provides life-saving care. The comprehensive network includes Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami Hospital and more than 30 outpatient facilities in five counties.

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
Lisa Worley, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine 305-243-5184