Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM Announces Grant to Whittier Street Health Center

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation program, Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM, today announced a grant of more than $159,000 to the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston to create the Cardiovascular Community Health Ambassador program.

The Cardiovascular Community Health Ambassador (CCHA) will improve access to cardiovascular education, screenings and care through community based interventions to address disparities in cardiovascular disease outcomes among African-American and Latino residents of Boston.

“The communities that Whittier serves face disproportionately high rates of cardiovascular disease, hypertension and high levels of co-morbidities associated with these chronic diseases,” said Frederica M. Williams, President and CEO of Whittier Street Health Center. “This grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation will allow us to reach out to those who are most negatively impacted by this disease and connect them with comprehensive chronic disease management programs. We greatly appreciate their support.”

CCHA connects African-Americans and Latinos living with hypertension in public housing to comprehensive chronic care management that instills behavior change to improve cardiovascular-related health outcomes and measures related to clinical standards of care. CCHA provides education and screenings in the community to motivate community members affected by hypertension to access care. The program helps both those aware of their hypertension but not engaged in care and identifies new cases and connects them to care.

“We must work to decrease the risk of and prevent cardiovascular disease in the United States, by providing resources to those in need,” said James W. Blasetto, M.D., MPH, chairman of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation. “The Whittier Street Health Center is providing an innovative program to improve cardiovascular health throughout Boston.”

Connections for Cardiovascular Health was launched in 2010 through a charitable contribution of $25 million from AstraZeneca. The 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. The grant will be used to focus on screening initiatives that will identify patients with or at-risk of cardiovascular disease. Those individuals who do not have health insurance or are underinsured will be given the option of establishing a medical home with the health center.

Organizations can learn more and apply online for a Foundation grant at Applications must be submitted online no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on March 15.

About Whittier Street Health Center

Whittier Street Health Center serves people from 20 different countries and offers comprehensive health and social services in 17 languages. As a comprehensive community health center, Whittier annually serves more than 18,500 primary care and social service clients in Greater Boston, providing more than 30 health and social service programs, including primary care, behavioral health, vision-related services and dental care. In 2011, Whittier’s board-certified physicians conducted nearly 65,000 patient visits and its human service team served an additional 20,000 local residents through community outreach programs.

Whittier is located in the heart of the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston which serves the medically underserved. Whittier recently received $12 million in federal stimulus monies to help build a new $38 million, 78,000 square foot facility that will enable the center to double the number of patients it serves and provide over 100,000 health and wellness visits annually by 2015.

About the 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.


AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation
Tony Jewell, 302-885-4594
Colette Phillips Communications
Adra Darling, 617-357-5777 ext. 215

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Massachusetts

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Cardiology  Hospitals  Philanthropy  Consumer  African-American  Foundation