AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation Awards $381,208 in Grants to Two Mississippi Organizations Working to Improve Heart Health

AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation Awards $381,208 in Grants to Two Mississippi Organizations Working to Improve Heart Health

<0> Public Communications Inc.Colleen O’Donnell or Sky Opila, 312-558-1770 </0>

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s program today announced grants to two nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving cardiovascular health in Mississippi, totaling $381,208.

The organizations receiving the grants are the Dr. Arenia C. Mallory Community Health Center, Inc. in Lexington, Miss. and Manna Ministries Inc. in Picayune, Miss. Over the last three years, these organizations have received $821,888 in grants.

Heart disease accounts for 26 percent of all deaths in Mississippi. The poorest state in the nation based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Mississippi also has the highest death rate from cardiovascular disease in the country, according to the American Heart Association.

The program annually awards grants of $150,000 or more to U.S.-based nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving cardiovascular health in communities across the United States. 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.

“Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, and organizations like these two in Mississippi 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 for their commitment to improving heart health in their communities.”

The grant awardees are:

The Dr. Martha W. Davis Healthy Families Movement Program works to reduce the risk of heart disease among low-income, African-American women in Holmes and Madison counties in Mississippi. The program implements a comprehensive cardiovascular wellness program that includes medical, nutritional, fitness and behavior counseling with a targeted stress management and lifestyle change intervention while also providing enjoyable and engaging community-based opportunities for women to increase physical activity, make healthier food choices, cultivate support and lose weight. This is the third consecutive year in which the Mallory Community Health Center has received a grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, for a total of $669,125.

The Heart 2 Heart Initiative aims to engage the community and collaborate in improving cardiovascular disease awareness, while improving the quality of care and patient education through community outreach in the delivery of screening, treatment and heart-healthy lifestyle support. The grant will help Manna Ministries to reduce cardiovascular disease among uninsured and underinsured populations in southern Mississippi and Louisiana. This is the first year that Manna Ministries has received funding from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation.

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.

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.

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