AstraZeneca - AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation awards $157,000 grant to Allegiance Health Foundation

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program today announced a grant of $157,000 to the Allegiance Health Foundation to support its Health Improvement Organization (HIO) Project Access Community Hearts program. This is the third consecutive year in which the Allegiance Health Foundation has received a grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, totaling $462,000.

The Community Hearts program works to improve heart health among uninsured and underinsured adults in Jackson County through a system of donated care known as Project Access. The program provides participants with health, wellness, care management and navigation resources to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, increase access to preventive services and improve quality of life. Community Hearts coordinates with community-wide action plans through the Health Improvement Organization (HIO), a community health collaborative founded by Allegiance Health in 2000.

“AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation funding is helping uninsured residents of our community better manage their cardiovascular health,” said Amy Schultz, M.D., MPH, director of prevention and community health, Allegiance Health Foundation. “This grant enhances our local Project Access program and supports the Health Improvement Organization’s county-wide efforts to improve community health. The program is improving participants’ risk status, health habits and lifestyle management skills, and increasing access to healthy food and safe physical activity in underserved areas. This funding will continue to advance efforts to make healthy lifestyles more accessible to all.”

As a result of previous funding from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, in 2013, 279 participants decreased their high blood sugar by an average of more than 25 percent and decreased their average cholesterol by five points. In addition, 51 percent of participants lost an average of five pounds per person.

“Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, and organizations like the Allegiance Health Foundation are creating innovative programs to help prevent and decrease the associated risks with this devastating disease,” said James W. Blasetto, M.D., MPH, FACC, chairman of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation. “We are grateful to the Allegiance Health Foundation for its commitment to improving heart health in their community.”

The Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program annually awards grants of $150,000 or more to U.S.-based nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving cardiovascular health in local communities. This year, the program awarded nearly $3.7 million in grants to 19 organizations. More than $14 million in grants have been awarded through the program since its inception in 2010.

Organizations can learn more and apply online for a Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSMgrant at Applications must be submitted online no later than 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 27, 2014.

About Allegiance Health Foundation

Allegiance Health is a 475-bed community-owned health system in Jackson, Michigan. With more than 3,800 employees, Allegiance complements traditional acute care services with mission-based services to support the care continuum for all members of the community. Through its Health Improvement Organization (HIO), Allegiance is also a national leader in forming community partnerships that innovatively address wellness and prevention needs in the community. Allegiance Health is consistently acknowledged as a leader in patient care, most recently named among America’s 100 Best Hospitals in 2013 by Healthgrades. As a recipient of the Healthgrades 2013 Patient Safety Excellence Award, Allegiance places within the top 5 percent of all hospitals for its excellent performance in safeguarding patients from serious, potentially preventable complications during their hospital stay. As a recipient of the CareChex 2013 Patient Safety Award, Allegiance ranks in the top 10 percent in the nation for patient safety related to heart attack and heart failure treatment. Learn more at

About 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 HealthSM was launched in 2010 through a charitable contribution of $25 million from AstraZeneca.

Media Inquiries

Public Communications Inc Colleen O'Donnell or Sky Oplia 312-558-1770
Allegiance Health Foundation Vicky Lorencen 517-788-4945 ext. 4945