Nine innovative, community-based organizations with tailored approaches to improve heart health received grants totaling $1,028,303 from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM Next Generation program.
This marks the first year of grant funding through the Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM Next Generation program. The program, which builds on the Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program and 10 years of lessons learned, launched on World Heart Day to elevate awareness of cardiovascular disease and ways to address this leading cause of death in the nation at the community level.
The nonprofit organizations awarded grants help improve cardiovascular disease through programs that address barriers to care for socially disadvantaged populations with activities and information that meet the needs and culture of the people in their communities. The programs often bridge gaps in care and focus on screenings; cardiovascular disease prevention and management; nutrition education; access to healthcare and behavioral health services; physical activity and health coaching through clinics, community centers, and more.
“As our next generation of Grant Awardees kick off their programs, we look forward to reaching new communities and providing funding for heart health education, prevention and management in areas of the country with some of the greatest need,” said Rich Buckley, president of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation. “The last decade provided us with experience and strengthened our commitment to help these programs succeed not only by providing funding, but with mentorship and capacity building.”
A key aspect of the Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM Next Generation program is peer-to-peer mentorship, where newly-funded organizations work with mentors from organizations who previously received funding, to help guide them to successfully launch and implement their programs.
Since 2010, the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program has awarded over $24.8 million in grants to 58 organizations nationwide. More than 1.7 million people have been reached by the program and over 65,000 people have had their heart health progress tracked through a variety of Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM Grant Awardees’ programs. As a result, these people are making lifestyle changes that help lead to better health and lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Participant results include improvements such as losing weight, reducing body mass index, lowering blood pressure and hemoglobin A1C levels, making healthier food choices and exercising more.
This year’s AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM Next Generation awardees are:
Asian Health Coalition in Chicago; $30,000: “CARDIO: Cardiovascular Awareness Recognizing Diet and Integration of Exercise Options” aims to target preventable risk factors and reduce disparities in cardiovascular disease and diabetes comorbidities among Chicago’s Asian communities utilizing innovative, community-clinic partnerships through culturally tailored screening, education, treatment and lifestyle support. Asian Health Coalition serves as a peer-to-peer mentor for newly-funded organizations.
Camino Community Center (Camino Community Development Corporation Inc.) in Charlotte, N.C.; $150,000: “Camino Vida” aims to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in individuals living with chronic disease, including Hypertension, Type II Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome, through individualized, culturally sensitive healthy eating and physical activity plans offered by health professionals in a trusted community setting.
Catherine’s Health Center in Grand Rapids, Mich.; $64,998: “Healthy Heart Team/Whole Hearts” aims to combine outreach, education and screening with team-based, patient-centered care and on-site counseling, treatment and support for underlying mental health issues to help low-income, underserved individuals participate in health promotion/disease prevention activities to overcome complex obstacles and achieve better cardiovascular and overall health. Catherine’s Health Center serves as a peer-to-peer mentor for newly-funded organizations.
Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio in Columbus, Ohio; $149,444: “Farmacy in the City: Cardiovascular Care at a co-located Charitable Pharmacy and Fresh Market” aims to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality risk by helping reduce body weight and blood pressure and/or optimize medication in underserved patients with existing cardiovascular disease, obesity or hypertension. The program pairs healthy food (fresh produce) with pharmacy care and follow up through a partnership with the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio and a Fresh Food Market.
Good News Clinics Inc. in Gainesville, Ga.; $150,000: “Healthy Hearts 4 Life” aims to screen and identify patients with cardiovascular disease as well as patients with risk factors and health behaviors that have a negative impact on cardiovascular health and provide medical treatments and behavioral counseling to help patients achieve improved knowledge, clinical health outcomes and lifestyle changes.
HealthVisions Midwest Inc. in Hammond, Ind.; $149,573: “HEART: Healthy Eating, Active Living, Reduce Stress, Test your Numbers” aims to reduce the risk of heart disease of low-income minorities through a comprehensive wellness program of healthy eating, physical activity, disease self-management skills, medical services and personalized care planning. The program will address barriers in order to increase physical activity and consumption of healthy foods, as well as improve self-management skills, health literacy and clinical outcomes.
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic in Oklahoma City; $150,000: “Healthy Hearts on the Go: Linking Cardiovascular Disease to Diabetes Management for American Indians” aims to increase community engagement through innovative, youth-led cardiovascular disease awareness strategies and improve the quality of cardiovascular disease care delivery via community-based and telehealth interventions to increase awareness of cardiovascular disease risk factors; improve lifestyle behaviors such as nutrition and physical activity; increase access to cardiovascular disease interventions through novel approaches; and improve clinical cardiovascular disease measures in the central Oklahoma American Indian community.
The Wellness Coalition in Montgomery, Ala.; $149,288: “HeartLink – Improving Cardiovascular Health in the Alabama River Region” aims to improve the cardiovascular health and health behaviors of uninsured and under-insured adults in Alabama’s River Region, as well as their knowledge of self-management techniques, through access to primary care, health insurance, free/low-cost medications and community resources and self-management of cardiovascular disease, delivered by trained wellness navigators providing wellness case management and chronic disease self-management education.
West Virginia Health Right, Inc. in Charleston, W. Va.; $35,000: “SCALE (Sustainable Change and Lifestyle Enhancement)” aims to achieve sustained weight loss for obese patients through personal coaching, group/peer support, nutritional education, improved diet and regular exercise to improve at-risk patients cardiovascular risk factors. West Virginia Health Right, Inc. serves as peer-to-peer mentor for newly-funded organizations.
2020 Grant Award Total: $1,043,303
About AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation
Established in 1993, the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation is a Delaware not-for-profit corporation and a 501(c)(3) entity, separate from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, organized for charitable purposes including to promote public awareness and education of healthcare issues and support nonprofit organizations consistent with its charitable purpose. Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM was launched in 2010 and has received $35 million in charitable contributions from AstraZeneca to date. For more information and the latest updates, follow the Foundation on Facebook (@AstraZenecaHealthCareFoundation), Twitter (@ConnectCVHealth) and YouTube (ConnectionsCVHealth).
*This release was updated on 3/5/2021 to reflect 2020 grant amounts