The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation awarded a grant of more than $152,000 to Christiana Care Health System’s Cardiovascular Outreach Prevention Program Tuesday, Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day), at Paul M. Hodgson Vocational Technical High School in Newark.
Christiana Care’s program is targeted towards underserved, low-income African-American teens and adult women. It works by engaging teens to increase both their knowledge and confidence in their ability to make healthy lifestyle changes, as well as to teach them skills to improve the heart health of their mother or another important adult female in their lives.
“We believe very strongly that if there is a health partnership between family members they’ll do a lot better and we’ll do a lot better in helping them in our health system and in our region,” said Michael Rosenthal, M.D., chair of the Department of Family & Community Medicine at Christiana Care Health System. “We know a lot of family care is centered through the woman in the family, and this is a successful way to reach out to them.”
Christiana Care was one of only 20 grant winners nationwide for the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular Health, which was launched in 2010 and awards grants of $150,000 and up to U.S.-based nonprofits that are performing innovative work in the field of cardiovascular health.
With the grant, Christiana Care’s Cardiovascular Outreach Prevention Program will enhance its existing health education programs. Those include No Heart Left Behind (heart health education for teens and adult participants) and Camp FRESH (educate urban teens on healthy lifestyles). Nemours Health and Prevention Services will provide training for the new cognitive-behavioral component, COPE/TEEN (Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment/Thinking, Emotions, Exercise, Nutrition). COPE/TEEN provides health education and teaches cognitive-behavior skills to support adolescents’ beliefs about their ability to perform healthy lifestyle behaviors. This program also has teens engage their mother or another adult female in their life to assist in improving her heart health.
“We are so thrilled that AstraZeneca has found value in this,” said Kathleen McNicholas, M.D., the medical director of Performance Improvement at Christiana Care. “This program works, and we will continue to prove it works.”
Christiana Care’s program is an innovative way to improve cardiovascular health in New Castle County among females, said James W. Blasetto, M.D., chairman of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation.
“This program is aimed at a low-income teens and women and is responding to the urgent, unmet needs in the community,” Blasetto said. “On behalf of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, we want to thank Christiana Care for all the work they have done.”
The announcement of the grant was covered by WDEL, 6ABC Action News and The News Journal. State Sen. Bethany Hall-Long—a Christiana Care trustee—and State Rep. Earl Jaques also attended the event.
Ambrosia Mondoa and her daughter Matanda Mondoa, a 19-year-old freshman student at Bryn Mawr College, spoke at the event. Ambrosia and Matanda have been through the Cardiovascular Outreach Prevention Program, and it has helped them make better lifestyle decisions.
“I’ve lost 40 pounds since I’ve been through the program,” said Ambrosia Mondoa, who lives in Bear. “I am healthier and I feel healthier. I am thankful that this program exists.”