AstraZeneca awards grant to support Weill Cornell Heart-to-Heart Community Outreach Campaign

Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM Announces $181,895 grant to Weill Cornell Medical College

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The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program today announced a grant of $181,895 to Weill Cornell Medical College in support of the Weill Cornell Heart-to-Heart Community Outreach Campaign.

The Weill Cornell Heart-to-Heart program seeks to provide innovative healthcare solutions to combat health disparities in New York City. Organized and operated by a volunteer staff of medical, nursing, and physician's assistant students and attending physicians, the Heart-to-Heart Community Outreach Campaign screens uninsured, underserved, at-risk communities for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The Heart-to-Heart program, founded in 2010, was the brainchild of Weill Cornell MD-PhD students Jonathan D. Moreno and Suchit H. Patel.

"In 2013, thanks to generous funding from AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation's Connections for Cardiovascular Health program, Weill Cornell's Heart-to-Heart Community Outreach Campaign will reach a greater number of New Yorkers in underserved and underrepresented communities," said Julianne Imperato-McGinley, MD, Associate Dean of Translational Research & Education at Weill Cornell Medical College and program director of its Clinical and Translational Science Center. "The Heart to Heart Community Outreach Campaign empowers participants to lead healthier lives while connecting those most in need with healthcare professionals and solutions. This year Heart-to-Heart plans to increase the frequency of its cardiovascular disease community screenings and measure their impact on the health of participants."

To decrease barriers to medical care, the Heart-to-Heart program administers comprehensive screenings at community centers and faith-based organizations where participant familiarity is already firmly established and builds strong community partnerships with churches, mosques, community centers, legislators, and, in the past, the New York City Department of Health.

In 2013, the program plans to closely track the program's progress with follow-up surveys of community screening participants. In addition, Heart-to-Heart plans to develop a mobile data system to instantaneously capture health information of screening participants, create an informational website, and a starter-kit to help other institutions begin their own community outreach initiative.

"Cardiovascular disease continues to be the nation's No. 1 killer, which is why we must work to decrease the risks of this devastating disease," said James W. Blasetto, M.D., MPH, FACC chairman of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation. "The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation is proud to provide funding to innovative, grassroots programs like Weill Cornell Medical College's Heart-to-Heart Community Outreach Campaign, which work to help prevent and control the effects of cardiovascular disease in their community."

"In New York City, heart disease is the leading cause of death," said Dr. Imperato-McGinley. "Heart-to-Heart hopes to diminish health disparities by providing vital health interventions to at-risk communities, and by helping community members access cardiovascular disease preventive care and treatment."

The Connections for Cardiovascular Health program awards grants of $150,000 and up to US-based non-profit organizations that are doing innovative work in the field of cardiovascular health. This year, the Foundation has awarded more than $4.4 million in grants to 22 organizations. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded nearly $11 million across the United States to help improve cardiovascular health.

Organizations can learn more and apply online for a Foundation grant at www.astrazeneca-us.com/foundation. Applications must be submitted online no later than 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 28, 2013.

To learn more about the Weill Cornell Heart-to-Heart Community Outreach Campaign, visit: www.myheart2heart.org.

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