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University of Michigan Health System earns major grant to expand childhood obesity programming

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation program, Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM, today announced a grant of more than $232,000 to the University of Michigan Health System to expand Project Healthy Schools.

The program focuses on sixth grade students and is designed to reduce childhood obesity and its long-term health risks. Project Healthy Schools has consistently shown that it lowers total cholesterol and blood pressure in students.

“Good heart health starts at a young age. Schools are powerful places to shape the health, education and wellbeing of our children,” says Kim Eagle, M.D., the Albion Walter Hewlett professor of internal medicine and a director of the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center. “That is why Project Healthy Schools creates environments where physical activity and healthy eating are accessible and encouraged.”

The Connections for Cardiovascular Health grant will enable continued growth of Project Healthy Schools into a model school-based program that supports healthy children and families and allow PHS to reach more students, especially those in lower income and more diverse communities.

Project Healthy Schools program is offered at 13 locations in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Owosso and metro Detroit.

The program is designed to teach sixth graders heart-healthy lifestyles including eating more fruits and vegetables, making better beverage choices, engaging in 150 minutes of exercise per week, eating less fast food and less fatty foods, plus reducing time spent in front of computer and video game screens.

“Cardiovascular disease is taking a terrible toll on our families, our communities and our nation,” says James W. Blasetto, M.D., chairman of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation.

“The University of Michigan is developing creative heart-healthy programs tailored to meet the individual needs of the community.”

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation program, Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM, awards grants of $150,000 and up to US-based non-profit organizations that are doing innovative work in the field of cardiovascular health. Organizations can learn more and apply online for a Foundation grant at www.astrazeneca-us.com/foundation. For this year, applications must be completed by April 20.

About the University of Michigan Health System
The University of Michigan Health System includes the U-M Hospitals & Health Centers, which comprises three hospitals and dozens of outpatient health centers and clinics; the U-M Medical School with its Faculty Group Practice and extensive research and education programs; the clinical operations of the U-M School of Nursing; and the Michigan Health Corp. The three U-M hospitals are University Hospital, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital. UMHS has been recognized numerous times for excellence in patient care, including 15 years on the honor roll of “America’s Best Hospitals,” as compiled by U.S. News & World Report. The U-M Medical School is one of the nation’s biomedical research powerhouses, with total research funding of more than $240 million, and consistently achieves high rankings for excellence in the education and training of physicians and biomedical scientists. For more on UMHS, see www.med.umich.edu.

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.

For more information about the AstraZeneca awards contact Katie Lubenow, Katie.lubenow@astrazeneca.com, at 302-885-9960.
 

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