AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation Awards $213,000 Grant to the Ashland-Boyd County Health Department

  AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation Awards $213,000 Grant to the Ashland-Boyd   County Health Department  Business Wire  ASHLAND, Ky. -- February 11, 2014  The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular Health^SM program today announced a grant of $213,000 to the Ashland-Boyd County Health Department to support its Appalachian Partnership for Positive Living and Eating (APPLE). This is the second consecutive year in which the Ashland-Boyd County Health Department has received a grant from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, totaling $423,000.  APPLE aims to promote healthy childhood and youth development among 600 children and their caregivers through a voluntary, community-based obesity case management program in Boyd County.  “The APPLE program has generated promising results and is helping to improve the quality of life of residents in eastern Kentucky,” said Maria Hardy, MSN, Ashland-Boyd County Health Department's Public Health Director. “We are excited to continue our partnership with the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation to improve family health and wellness and look forward to working with more families to make the same positive lifestyle changes.”  As a result of previous funding from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, by the end of 2013, 316 participants decreased their BMI by an average of four points and 100 percent reported improved cardiovascular knowledge. In addition, more than half of these participants reported engaging in physical activity for 60 minutes per day by the end of the year, up from 25 percent at the beginning of the program.  “Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, and organizations like the Ashland-Boyd County 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 Ashland-Boyd County Health Department for its commitment to improving heart health in their community.”  The Connections for Cardiovascular Health^SM 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 Health^SM grant at www.astrazeneca-us.com/foundation. Applications must be submitted online no later than 5 p.m. EST on Feb. 27, 2014.  About Ashland-Boyd County Health Department  Ashland-Boyd County Health Department is located in the Appalachian highlands of eastern Kentucky where the state lines of Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia meet. Our mission, “To improve the quality of life for all who live, work and play in Boyd County through disease prevention, health promotion, environmental safety and public health preparedness,” is rooted in our long and proud history of serving the residents of our small, yet vibrant community.  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 Health^SM was launched in 2010 through a charitable contribution of $25 million from AstraZeneca.  Contact:  Public Communications Inc. Colleen O’Donnell or Sky Opila, 312-558-1770 or Ashland-Boyd County Health Department Holly West, 606-329-9444 ext. 2223