LEXINGTON, Miss.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program today announced a grant of $228,445 to the Dr. Arenia C. Mallory Community Health Center, Inc., to support its Dr. Martha W. Davis Healthy Families Movement Program. This is the third consecutive year in which the Mallory Community Health Center has received a grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, totaling $669,125.
The Healthy Families Movement Program (HFMP) 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.
“Our goal is to tackle the problem of poor cardiovascular health and obesity in Mississippi through the Healthy Families Movement Program,” said Dewery Montgomery, Interim CEO, Mallory Community Health Center. “This program educates women about nutrition, physical activity and cardiovascular health in order to increase their knowledge of a healthy lifestyle. We also hope to assist participants and their families in making small changes in health behaviors that will lead to big results.”
As a result of previous funding from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, in 2013, the HFMP provided 161 participants with a comprehensive cardiovascular wellness program. Participants demonstrated an average nutrition knowledge score of 75 percent at the beginning of the program compared to 88 percent by the end of the program. In addition, one quarter of the participants increased their cardiovascular endurance as demonstrated by average time for a one-mile walk/run and average number of push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks. Nearly half of the participants lost an average of over six pounds. Research shows that even modest amounts of weight loss and change in BMI can have a significant impact on cardiovascular health.
Using evidence-based interventions, Mallory Community Health Center works with African-American women ages 16-50 to address major modifiable risks for heart disease. These may include obesity, physical inactivity and stress. Participants receive physical, nutritional and psychosocial assessments while working with a physician, dietitian and behavioral health specialist to develop and adhere to individualized wellness plans.
“Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, and organizations like Mallory Community Health Center 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 Mallory Community Health Center for its commitment to improving heart health in their community.”
The Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM 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 Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM grant at www.astrazeneca-us.com/foundation. Applications must be submitted online no later than 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 27, 2014.
About Dr. Arenia C. Mallory Community Health Center, Inc.
Mallory Community Health Center is a Joint Commission Accredited Federally Qualified Health Clinic. Its slogan is "Enter a Patient, Leave a Friend," which reflects the caring that is intrinsic to its mission. Mallory Community Health Center focuses on services aimed at promoting healthier lifestyles, primary care, social services, nutritional counseling and public transportation. For more information about the center and the Healthy Families Movement Program, visit www.mallorychc.org.
About 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. Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM was launched in 2010 through a charitable contribution of $25 million from AstraZeneca.