AstraZeneca - Connections for Cardiovascular Health announces $185,025 grant to West Virginia Health Right, Inc.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program today announced a grant of $185,025 to West Virginia Health Right, Inc. in support of the Pathways to Cardiovascular Health initiative. This is the third consecutive year in which West Virginia Health Right, Inc. has received a grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, totaling $556,957.

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.

Since the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation began funding this initiative two years ago, patients have shown improvement in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, A1C levels, tobacco cessation and weight loss. 500 patients in the “motivated to change” sub-group experienced an 18 percent drop in their hemoglobin A1C levels, 9 percent drop in their total cholesterol level and a Body Mass Index drop of 14.5 percent. In addition, within the past two years, 21 patients in that same group have lost over a literal ton of weight (2,000 pounds) though diet change, exercise, and hard work to change their lifestyle.

“WV Health Right is honored to have the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s support as we continue to improve the health status of our impoverished uninsured patients,” said Patricia White, Executive Director of WV Health Right. “The progress our patients have made in the Pathways to Cardiovascular Health program has been truly astounding. Through our partnership with the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, our patients have made remarkable and sustainable lifestyle changes that have significantly decreased their cardiovascular risk factors.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, West Virginia is No. 1 in the nation for prevalence of heart attacks, second for prevalence of stroke, second for prevalence of Type II diabetes, second for prevalence of tobacco use and No. 1 for prevalence of obesity.

The majority of West Virginia Health Right’s 23,000 adult patients have one or more chronic conditions that represent high risk for cardiovascular disease. Additionally, many of these patients engage in high risk behaviors such as tobacco use and diets high in carbohydrates and fats. Providing patients with self-management techniques that promote personal responsibility leads to improved health status and improved adherence and compliance with documented treatment plans. In addition to tobacco cessation, diabetes management and weight loss classes, the clinic has added healthy heart classes, a variety of exercise classes, and healthy cooking classes.

“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

West Virginia Health Right’s Pathways to Cardiovascular Health 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 West Virginia Health Right, Inc.

WV Health Right, Inc., established in 1982, is West Virginia’s oldest and largest free clinic. WV Health Right provides comprehensive medical, dental, pharmaceutical, and health education services to 23,000 impoverished uninsured adults, ages 18-64, who make nearly 100,000 clinic visits per year. More than 450 volunteer physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, nurses, and others enable the clinic’s small paid staff to provide care and treatment to the ever growing numbers of patients seeking services. To learn more about WV Health Right, 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
Ann Hyre, West Virginia Health Rights, Inc 304-414-5911