AstraZeneca - AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation awards $197,952 grant to Sundance Research Institute to improve heart health

Thursday, 19 February 2015

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program is awarding a grant of $197,952 to Sundance Research Institute, Inc., to support its Honoring Your Heart on the Wind River Indian Reservation program, which works to improve cardiovascular health in the community. This is the second consecutive year in which the Sundance Research Institute has received a grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, totaling $436,852.

Honoring Your Heart on the Wind River Indian Reservation aims to increase cardiovascular health knowledge and reduce risk factors among American Indian adults and families with children on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Honoring Your Heart is a two-part program consisting of classes offered along with a 12-week Lifestyle Balance Program focusing on physical activity and healthy diet.

“American Indians are 35 percent more likely to die from heart disease than others in this country,” said Catherine Keene, executive director, Eastern Shoshone Tribal Health Programs. “Our people face many challenges to good health and wellness due to extreme poverty, the remote rural areas of most reservations and limited access to health services. Honoring Your Heart on the Wind River Indian Reservation is providing community-based heart health education combined with structured physical activity, and developing a coordinated community-clinical system to provide ongoing support. We have had great results in our first year and are expanding our program. Our model is one that is generating interest among other tribes that have asked us for information to create similar programs.”

As a result of previous funding from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, over the past year, average weight for 56 tracked participants decreased from 202 to 197 pounds and 37 of those participants (66 percent) lost a total of 313 pounds. Forty-two out of 57 participants (74 percent) reduced their systolic blood pressure by an average of 14 points. Finally, 47 percent (27 out of 57 participants) reduced their glucose by an average of 33 mg/dL.

“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 Sundance Research Institute’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 Applications must be submitted online no later than 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 26, 2015.

About Sundance Research Institute, Inc.

Sundance Research Institute, Inc., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with offices in Bethesda, Md., and Sundance, Wyo. The organization was founded in response to recognition that rural communities, American Indian Tribes and local governments serving economically disadvantaged populations have limited resources to address disparities in health, well-being, and economic opportunity. Sundance provides technical assistance, evaluation and data collection design services, research and grant development support to tribes, tribal organizations and other entities to identify community needs and resources; develop innovative strategies for addressing priorities; seek funding from federal and private sources to support and implement new programs; and develop and strengthen skills of local workforces to manage programs effectively. Sundance is committed to the principle that successful programs are those that are designed and implemented by community leadership and members who are knowledgeable about culture, traditions and resources. Learn more at or call 307-283-1935.

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 Cindy Zinkovich 312-558-1770
Sundance Research Institute Kathryn Langwell 307-283-1935