AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation Awards $250,000 Grant to the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department

<0> Public Communications Inc.Colleen O’Donnell or Sky Opila, 312-558-1770orElkhorn Logan Valley Public Health DepartmentGina Uhing, 402-529-2233 </0>

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s program today announced a grant of $250,000 to the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department to support its Operation Heart to Heart program. This is the second consecutive year in which the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department has received a grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, totaling $500,000.

Operation Heart to Heart works to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and increase health screening opportunities among agricultural laborers and their families in Burt, Cuming, Madison and Stanton counties in Nebraska by providing innovative cardiovascular health screening opportunities, ongoing case management, and tracking and heart health education.

“We are excited to continue our Operation Heart to Heart program as it has enormous potential to make life-saving differences among the program participants and in the community,” said Gina Uhing, health director, Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department. “With agricultural workers and their families being so prevalent in our area, we intend to offer free cardiovascular risk screenings to residents as well as free case management services to those found to be at elevated risk. By including the entire family in this process, Operation Heart to Heart hopes to increase the health and wellness throughout the family unit.”

As a result of previous funding from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, in 2013, more than 1,000 people participated in heart health educational sessions. The average heart health knowledge score prior to their participation was 64 percent compared to an average knowledge score of 85 percent at the end of the program. In addition, only 37 percent of more than 650 participants knew the value of a normal blood pressure reading at the beginning of the program, which increased to 92 percent by the end of the program.

“Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, and organizations like the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department 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 the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department for its commitment to improving heart health in their community.”

The 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 grant at . Applications must be submitted online no later than 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 27, 2014.

Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department was created in 2002 to serve the citizens and communities of Burt, Cuming, Madison and Stanton counties. Located in Wisner, Nebraska, with a satellite office in Norfolk, the department focuses on healthy lifestyle management and disease prevention with over 20 programs initiated to maximize wellness and safety. Learn more at .

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. was launched in 2010 through a charitable contribution of $25 million from AstraZeneca.