AstraZeneca - AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation awards $200,000 grant to St. Mary’s Health Wagon

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program today announced a grant of $200,000 to St. Mary’s Health Wagon to support its Heart Health 1, 2, 3 Comprehensive Cardiovascular Disease Initiative. This is the fourth consecutive year in which St. Mary’s Health Wagon has received a grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, totaling $745,562.

The Heart Health 1, 2, 3 program focuses on reducing the risk of heart disease among participants living with metabolic disorder, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in southwest Virginia through education, screening, medication management and a holistic medical approach.

“The funding from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation has helped us make significant strides in improving the cardiovascular health of individuals in southwest Virginia,” said Teresa Gardner, DNP, executive director, St. Mary’s Health Wagon. “This program has allowed the Health Wagon to screen thousands of individuals for risk of developing cardiovascular disease, perform diagnostic testing, and treat those diagnosed and at-risk for cardiovascular disease, resulting in healthier individuals.”

As a result of previous funding from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, in 2013, the program continued to provide cardiovascular risk screenings for more than 6,000 individuals and increased the number of specialty medical services at the Health Wagon. Nearly one third of the 1,013 program participants had a weight loss of more than 10 pounds and almost three quarters of those had a blood pressure reading of less than 140/90 by end of the year, compared to 55 percent at the start of the program. In addition, due to multiple coal mine shutdowns and layoffs, the Health Wagon saw a dramatic increase in the number of underserved individuals, most with chronic health conditions, seeking the medical services provided by the program.

“Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, and organizations like St. Mary’s Health Wagon 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 St. Mary’s Health Wagon 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 St. Mary’s Health Wagon

The Health Wagon is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization providing mobile health services to the medically underserved in southwest Virginia since 1980. The Health Wagon’s mission is to provide compassionate, quality healthcare to the medically underserved in the mountains of Appalachia. The Health Wagon visits 10 sites in six counties – Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott and Wise counties – to serve a severely medically underserved population. The Health Wagon currently has two mobile health units and two stationary clinics servicing southwest Virginia. 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
St. Mary's Health Wagon Teresa Gardner 276-328-8850