NHLBI, FNIH Awards Grants to Help Raise Heart Health Awareness Among Women

Program targets hard-to-reach and underserved populations

For the sixth consecutive year, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) have awarded The Heart Truth® Community Action Program grants to organizations across the United States to help communities reach women with critical public health messages about heart disease and its prevention.  These grants, funded by donations to the FNIH in support of women’s heart health, aim to help raise awareness about heart disease among women of color, low income, and in rural areas.

The grant program encourages community-based organizations to develop, implement, and evaluate activities and programming that educate women about making lifestyle changes to lower their risk for heart disease. A key part of the grantees’ community programming is the promotion of The Heart Truth, the NHLBI’s national awareness and education campaign for women about heart disease. The grant program seeks to fund innovative ways of delivering programs that go beyond simply increasing the number of persons made aware of heart disease to demonstrating and supporting sustainable heart health behavioral change. 

“We are thankful for partners that are committed to helping women protect their hearts, like the FNIH, Diet Coke, Belk Department Stores, and Swarovski, to name a few,” says Ann Taubenheim, Ph.D., Project Director for the Heart Truth campaign. “Through the generous support of campaign partners, we are educating communities around the nation about heart disease and touching women’s lives directly.”  

We are pleased to announce the following 2013 Heart Truth Community Action Program grant recipients:

West Virginia University Research Corporation, Morgantown, WV

Target: Rural, low-income, and African American women.

Highlights: A walking challenge, heart-health-focused retreats for women, and an automated text messaging program that will send participants heart health reminders.

African Family Health Organization, Philadelphia, PA

Target: African and Caribbean immigrants and refugees in Philadelphia.

Highlights: Creation of a heart-focused awareness and education program targeting low literacy and African and Caribbean immigrant and refugee populations. Plans include translating Heart Truth materials into Haitian Creole, including cultural adaptations.  

Saint Luke's Foundation, Kansas City, MO

Target: Low-income Hispanic families.

Highlights: Screenings and educational events. Creation of a program where the first women recruited will learn about heart health and become mentors to the next wave of participants. 

The Cambodian Family, Santa Ana, CA

Target: Cambodian refugees and Latinos who speak limited English. 

Highlights: Holding Heart Truth events centered around healthy cooking demonstrations and physical activity. Translating Heart Truth materials for Cambodians and distributing to other organizations.  

King's Daughters Medical Center, Ashland, KY

Target: Low-income and rural women in Kentucky.

Highlight: Girl Scouts events where the girls participate in Zumba classes while their mothers are educated about and screened for heart disease. 

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Foundation, New Brunswick, NJ

Target: African Americans, Latinos, and low-income women in New Jersey.  

Highlights : Reaching 1,000 women with Red DressSM Sunday events at houses of worship; conducting screenings; and holding a free American Heart Month community event, “Matters of the Heart,” which is a program that uses community ambassadors and houses of worship to spread The Heart Truth message. 

Southern 7 Health Department, Ullin, IL

Target: African American, low-income, and rural women.

Highlights: Disseminating Heart Truth materials across Illinois through large conferences and mini-events and partnerships with churches, hospitals, and The University of Illinois. 

Ingalls Memorial Hospital, Harvey, IL

Target: African American, Hispanic, and low-income women in Illinois.

Highlights: Kickoff event during American Heart Month, including booths with information about heart disease risk factors; four 90-minute educational sessions each quarter, including lessons on reading food labels and grocery store shopping. Creating a partnership with health care providers with a goal of working together to build support systems for women. 

Mercy Housing Northwest, Seattle, WA

Target: Latinos, Southeast Asians, and low-income women.

Highlights: Planning heart health resource fairs, fitness classes, and nutrition education and fitness challenges at six affordable housing communities near Seattle, Washington.

To date, the FNIH has awarded 41 grants as part of a public-private partnership with the NHLBI’s The Heart Truth public education initiative. Partners of The Heart Truth and the FNIH provided funding for the 2013 grants.