AstraZeneca - Connections for Cardiovascular Health announces grant to Whittier Street Health Center

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program today announced a grant of $150,000 to the Whittier Street Health Center in support of the Connections for Cardiovascular Care initiative. This is the second consecutive year in which the Whittier Street Health Center has received a grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, totaling $309,574.

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.

As a result of previous funding from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, 65 participants in the Connections for Cardiovascular Care program have lost more than 420 pounds by improving their diet, exercise and adhering to their self-management goals. In addition, 37 participants who were obese at the start of the program lost an average of eight pounds, with three participants losing more than 25 pounds, according to the Whittier Street Health Center.

"Whittier strives to provide optimal care to members of the community, especially underserved and minority communities, who are at risk or suffer from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and other related chronic diseases," said Frederica M. Williams, President and CEO of Whittier Street Health Center. "The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation grant will allow us to provide our patients with comprehensive cardiovascular screening and access to care, while also reaching those whom may have otherwise gone untreated due to healthcare cost and accessibility. We greatly appreciate their support."

The program will work to connect African Americans and Latinos with hypertension who live in public housing with comprehensive chronic care management that instills behavior change to improve cardiovascular related health outcomes and measures related to clinical standards of care.

"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 Whittier Street Health Center’s Connections for Cardiovascular Care, 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 Whittier Street Health Center

Whittier Street Health Center ( is a Joint Commission accredited, private, non-profit, independently licensed community health center dedicated to providing high quality, reliable and accessible primary health care and support services for diverse populations to promote wellness and eliminate health and social disparities. Serving more than 25,000 clients with approximately 80,000 clinic visits and 20,000 community outreach visits annually, Whittier has a patient base which is ethnically and racially diverse and includes significant numbers of individuals from Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, the South End and Greater Boston. Whittier provides a comprehensive array of 40 healthcare programs and services designed to meet the primary health care, behavioral health, and social needs of the community.

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
Frederica Williams, Whittier Street Health Center 617-989-3221