AstraZeneca - AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation announces $4.4 Million in grants to improve cardiovascular health in local communities

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program today announced grants totaling more than $4.4 million to 22 nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving cardiovascular health in local communities.

Since the inception of the program, nearly $11 million has been awarded to organizations working to prevent cardiovascular disease. The 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.

To date, more than 13,000 people across the country have participated in a variety of community programs funded through the Connections for Cardiovascular Health program. Through these programs, participants are making healthier food choices, exercising more and reducing or preventing cardiovascular risk factors. They are accomplishing this by reducing their body mass index, lowering their blood pressure and hemoglobin A1C levels and becoming more knowledgeable about nutrition and cardiovascular risk factors.

“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 across the country working to help prevent and control the effects of cardiovascular disease in their communities."

The Connections for Cardiovascular Health grant awardees are:

Allegiance Health Foundation in Jackson, Mich; $155,000: The Health Improvement Organization Community Hearts program aims to identify cardiovascular risk among uninsured/underinsured workers and provide them with navigation and resources to assist in risk reduction, health education and skill-building around healthy lifestyles and disease management.

Ashland-Boyd County Health Department in Ashland, Ky; $210,000: The Appalachian Partnership for Positive Living and Eating program is designed to help children and families combat complex issues relating to pediatric obesity. The only one of its kind in the state of Kentucky, which ranks third nationally for pediatric obesity, 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.

Catherine’s Health Center in Grand Rapids, Mich; $161,950: Live Heart Smart is targeted toward low-income, medically-underserved residents of Grand Rapids to help them become aware of their personal risk factors for cardiovascular disease as well as helping them identify and implement lifestyle changes that will assist them in becoming and remaining healthy.

Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, Del; $195,809: The Cardiovascular Outreach Prevention Program is targeted toward underserved, low-income African-American teens and adult women. The goal of the program is to engage teens to increase their knowledge and confidence in their ability to make healthy lifestyle changes, as well as to teach them skills to improve the heart health of their mother or other important adult female in their lives.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Association in Schenectady, N.Y; $189,500: The Health Shares program works to reduce complications from cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases through an innovative community partnership that improves nutrition by prescribing fresh vegetables for high-risk, low-income patients at an urban family health center.

Cornerstone Assistance Network in Fort Worth, Texas, $191,955: The Cardio CAN Outreach program provides guidance for uninsured and low-income families to become more independent while leading healthier lives. Now in year three, the program intends to build on four key initiatives that in concert change lifestyles: a medical home for the uninsured and low income, health education, healthy cooking classes and fitness.

Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department in Wisner, Neb; $250,000: Operation Heart to Heart works to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and increase health screening opportunities among agricultural laborers in Burt, Cuming, Stanton and Madison Counties in Nebraska by providing innovative cardiovascular health screening opportunities, ongoing case management and tracking and heart health education.

Flagstaff Medical Center in Flagstaff, Ariz; $158,160: Now in the program’s second year, Northern Arizona Diabetes - Heart Connection works to reduce morbidity/mortality rates and to improve wellness by identifying, screening and educating community members at risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The program has been designed to respond to the rising prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular disease among low-income residents of Northern Arizona, an area characterized by high numbers of members of the Navajo, Hopi, and Havasupai Tribes.

Foundation for Community Partnerships in Chester, Md; $253,297: The Partnering for Youth Cardio-Fit Project is targeted towards 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.

Gulf Coast Educators in Pass Christian, Miss; $187,653: The Chronic Disease Management and Prevention Program works to prevent and/or manage chronic diseases associated with obesity and diabetes. The program promotes healthy lifestyles among uninsured, underserved, highly vulnerable populations living in the Mississippi Gulf Coast counties of Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson.

Mallory Community Health Center in Lexington, Miss; $250,000: The Healthy Families Movement Program works to reduce the risk of heart disease among low-income, African-American women in the Mallory Community Health Center community. The program implements a comprehensive cardiovascular wellness program that includes medical, nutritional, fitness and behavior counseling with a targeted stress management and lifestyle change intervention.

Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center in Nashville, Tenn; $173,700: Dial Down Diabetes is geared towards 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.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center Foundation in Washington, D.C; $256,460: Hair, Heart and Health: Barbershops as a Venue for Engaging Underserved Communities in Healthy Lifestyles and CVD Prevention, identifies, educates and provides health system navigation services to barbershop patrons with unrecognized and/or uncontrolled hypertension and/or diabetes mellitus.

Palmetto Project in North Charleston, S.C; $215,510: Heart & Soul works to improve, in sustainable ways, clinical indicators for metabolic syndrome among food bank clients at the greatest risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The program will also create a Program Model that can be replicated at most of the 1,755 food distribution sites in South Carolina.

Saint Agnes Hospital Foundation Inc. in Baltimore, $244,455: The Heart-to-Heart program will identify and assess underserved, low-income African-American women at high risk for cardiovascular disease and provide a community-based church intervention program that includes nutrition, physical activity, and healthy lifestyle education to reduce the risk for heart disease.

Sankofa Community Development Corp. in New Orleans, $150,000: The Sankofa HEAL Project teaches high-school age youth and their families about the health benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables as well as the associated risk reduction for cardiovascular disease and chronic illnesses. Participants learn about heart-healthy lifestyles, nutrition, techniques for growing fruits and vegetables and leadership skills.

St. Mary’s Health Wagon in Clintwood, Va; $239,500: The Appalachian Healthy Heart Initiative works to improve quality of care through prevention, detection and treatment of heart disease and to reduce cardiovascular health disparities for those who are uninsured and under-insured in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia. The program does this through both primary and preventive care initiatives, outreach programs, health promotion activities and screenings, culturally appropriate education with a focus on risk factor reduction and engagement of the community through awareness.

Sustainable Food Center in Austin, Texas, $197,772: The Cultivating Healthy Communities program promotes cardiovascular health, sustainable foods, healthy nutrition and the prevention of obesity in children and families living in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods where they lack access to affordable, healthy foods and nutrition literacy.

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami; $223,738: 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 persons living with HIV/AIDS.

Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, $181,895: The Weill Cornell Heart-to-Heart program seeks to provide innovative healthcare solutions to combat the persistent health disparities in New York City. Organized and operated by a volunteer staff of medical, nursing, and physician’s assistant students and attending physicians, the Heart-to-Heart Community Outreach Campaign screens uninsured, underserved, at-risk communities for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

West Virginia Health Right in Charleston, W. Va; $185,025: Pathways to Cardiovascular Health works to improve the health status of its patients at risk for cardiovascular disease through sustainable lifestyle changes coupled with continuity of medical care and treatment.

Whittier Street Health Center in Roxbury, Mass; $150,000: The Connections for Cardiovascular Care program seeks to improve access to cardiovascular education, screenings and care through community-based interventions for African-American and Latino residents of Boston.

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 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.

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