AstraZeneca - AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation awards $150,768 grant to Whittier Street Health Center

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program today announced a grant of $150,768 to Whittier Street Health Center to support its Connections for Cardiovascular Care initiative. This is the third consecutive year in which the Whittier Street Health Center has received a grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, totaling $460,342.

The Connections for Cardiovascular Care initiative seeks to improve access to cardiovascular education, screenings and care through community-based interventions for African-American and Latino residents of Boston. According to the latest data from the Boston Public Health Commission, black and Latino residents of Boston are hospitalized due to heart disease at rates 41.7 percent and 19.8 percent higher than white residents, respectively.Furthermore, data indicates that black and Latino residents of Boston face increased risk factors of cardiovascular disease such as obesity, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, stress and high blood pressure.

“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, Whittier Street Health Center. “The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation grant allows us to provide our patients with comprehensive cardiovascular screening and access to care, while also reaching those who may have otherwise gone untreated due to healthcare cost and accessibility.”

As a result of previous funding from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, in 2013, the program served 267 enrolled participants through direct case management services, social services, patient navigation and/or a six-week cardiovascular education course. More than half of these participants with uncontrolled blood pressure now have controlled blood pressure and have lost an average of over five pounds. In addition, the program also served more than 850 community residents through screening outreaches, case management and care coordination services.

“Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, and organizations like Whittier Street Health Center 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 Whittier Street Health Center 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 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 healthcare and support services for diverse populations to promote wellness and eliminate health and social disparities. Serving more than 25,000 clients with approximately 100,000 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. Whittier is recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as a level 3 (highest level) patient-centered medical home. 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 Collen O'Donnell 312-588-1770
Whittier Street Health Center Frederica Williams 617-989-3221

1. Boston Public Health Commission.Health of Boston 2012‐2013: A Neighborhood Focus. 2013. Retrieved from: