AstraZeneca - Connections for Cardiovascular Health announces $181,895 grant to Weill Cornell Medical College

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program today announced a grant of $181,895 to Weill Cornell Medical College in support of the Weill Cornell Heart-to-Heart Community Outreach Campaign.

The Weill Cornell Heart-to-Heart program seeks to provide innovative healthcare solutions to combat 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. The Heart-to-Heart program, founded in 2010, was the brainchild of Weill Cornell MD-PhD students Jonathan D. Moreno and Suchit H. Patel.

"In 2013, thanks to generous funding from AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular Health program, Weill Cornell’s Heart-to-Heart Community Outreach Campaign will reach a greater number of New Yorkers in underserved and underrepresented communities," said Julianne Imperato-McGinley, MD, Associate Dean of Translational Research & Education at Weill Cornell Medical College and program director of its Clinical and Translational Science Center. “The Heart to Heart Community Outreach Campaign empowers participants to lead healthier lives while connecting those most in need with healthcare professionals and solutions. This year Heart-to-Heart plans to increase the frequency of its cardiovascular disease community screenings and measure their impact on the health of participants.”

To decrease barriers to medical care, the Heart-to-Heart program administers comprehensive screenings at community centers and faith-based organizations where participant familiarity is already firmly established and builds strong community partnerships with churches, mosques, community centers, legislators, and, in the past, the New York City Department of Health.

In 2013, the program plans to closely track the program’s progress with follow-up surveys of community screening participants. In addition, Heart-to-Heart plans to develop a mobile data system to instantaneously capture health information of screening participants, create an informational website, and a starter-kit to help other institutions begin their own community outreach initiative.

“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 Weill Cornell Medical College’s Heart-to-Heart Community Outreach Campaign, which work to help prevent and control the effects of cardiovascular disease in their community."

“In New York City, heart disease is the leading cause of death,” said Dr. Imperato-McGinley. “Heart-to-Heart hopes to diminish health disparities by providing vital health interventions to at-risk communities, and by helping community members access cardiovascular disease preventive care and treatment.”

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.

To learn more about the Weill Cornell Heart-to-Heart Community Outreach Campaign, visit:  

About Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University’s medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally, and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside, aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances, including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease, and most recently, the world’s first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with the Methodist Hospital in Houston. For more information, visit

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
Lauren Woods, Weill Cornell Medical College 646-317-7401 or