AstraZeneca - AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation awards $223,000 grant to Ashland-Boyd County Health Department to improve heart health

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program is awarding a grant of $223,000 to Ashland-Boyd County Health Department to support its Appalachian Partnership for Positive Living and Eating (A.P.P.L.E.) program, which works to improve cardiovascular health in the community. This is the third consecutive year in which the Ashland-Boyd County Health Department has received a grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, totaling $646,000.

A.P.P.L.E. aims to promote healthy childhood and youth development and control obesity among children and their caregivers through a voluntary, community-based case management program in Boyd and Greenup, Ky.

“A.P.P.L.E. is making a profound difference in the lives of families in rural Appalachia who are facing serious health risks associated with the development of cardiovascular disease,” said Maria Hardy, public health director at the health department. “With the support of AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program, in the past two years A.P.P.L.E has helped local families decrease their body weight, improve their diet and increase their minutes spent physically active.”

As a result of previous funding from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, the program tracked the progress of more than 1,000 participants this past year and saw positive results for both clinical and behavioral outcomes. For the more than 750 new participants tracked in the second year of the program, average Body Mass Index (BMI) decreased by nearly two points and participants lost a total of 625 pounds. For these same participants, the percentage who reported being physically active at least 60 minutes per day increased from 23 percent at pre-test to 82 percent at post-test. Finally, the percentage of participants who reported eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day increased from 11 percent to 41 percent by the end of the program.

“Cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of death in the United States, which is why we must find new ways to help prevent and decrease the risks associated with this disease,” said James W. Blasetto, MD, MPH, FACC, chairman of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation. “The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation is proud to provide funding to Ashland-Boyd’s innovative program to help improve cardiovascular health in their community.”

The Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program annually awards grants to U.S.-based nonprofit organizations across the country. More than $2.6 million in grants to 13 organizations will be announced this year. More than $17 million in grants have been awarded through the program since its inception in 2010. In 2015, the Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSMprogram will award grants from $150,000 to $180,000.

Organizations can learn more and apply online for a Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSMgrant at www.astrazeneca-us.com/foundation. Applications must be submitted online no later than 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 26, 2015.

About Ashland-Boyd County Health Department

Ashland-Boyd County Health Department is located in the Appalachian highlands of eastern Kentucky where the state lines of Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia meet. Our mission, “To improve the quality of life for all who live, work and play in Boyd County through disease prevention, health promotion, environmental safety and public health preparedness,” is rooted in our long and proud history of serving the residents of our small, yet vibrant community.

For more information call 606-329-9444 ext. 2223.

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 Communication Inc Bridget Kagan 312-558-1770
Ashland-Boyd County Health Department Holly West 606-329-9444 ext. 2223