Major Grant to Support and Expand Hair, Heart and Health Community Program

MedStar Washington Hospital Center received a national grant of $256,460 from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation to support and expand the hospital’s “Hair, Heart and Health” program.

February 13, 2013

Washington, D.C., February 13, 2013- MedStar Washington Hospital Center received a national grant of $256,460 from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation to support and expand the hospital’s “Hair, Heart and Health” program. The Hospital Center is one of only 22 organizations nationwide to receive funds through the Foundation’s Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM program.

Hair, Heart and Health is a community-based program that seeks to reduce risk for cardiovascular disease among African American men. Barbershops serve as a community venue where patrons are offered screenings for high blood pressure and diabetes. When hypertension and/or diabetes are identified, services are provided to help patrons get treatment and reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke.

“This innovative program works with barbers to engage District residents at highest risk for cardiovascular disease in healthy lifestyles to improve their health,” said Michelle Magee, MD, medical director of the Hair, Heart and Health program. “African American men suffer disproportionately from high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and their complications. They also have less frequent contact with healthcare providers than others.”

Since 2008, Hair, Heart and Health has operated in D.C. Wards 5, 6, 7, and 8, and has served more than 750 people. The program trains barbers to measure blood pressure and weight and to serve as heart health advocates for their clients. In addition, a health navigator from the Hospital Center is on-site to provide healthy lifestyles education and referrals for follow-up health care services.

With the support of this Foundation grant, Hair, Heart and Health will add additional shops in the District and Baltimore City, Md. The barbershops will also offer eHealth2go, MedStar’s web-based personal health record, to participants and family members to help them manage and share key personal health information across the spectrum of care. In addition, the program will train residents at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and its sister hospital, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital to rotate with health navigators in staffing the shops for the project.

“Cardiovascular disease continues to be the nation’s number one killer, which is why we must work to decrease the risks of this devastating disease," said James W. Blasetto, MD, MPH, FACC, chairman of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation. “We are proud to provide funding to innovative, grassroots programs like the Hospital Center’s Hair, Heart and Health program, which work to help prevent and control the effects of cardiovascular disease in their community.”

Hair, Heart and Health is a collaborative partnership with the D.C. Department of Health and MedStar Health. MedStar Health recently became one of the largest health systems in the country to participate in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Million Hearts campaign to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes.

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation presented a grant of $256,460 to MedStar Washington Hospital Center at a ceremony at M & S Barber Services in Washington, D.C.

Left to right: Christopher King, FACHE, assistant vice president, Community Health, MedStar Health; Richard G. Kief, senior vice president and chief philanthropy officer, Washington Hospital Center Foundation; Michelle Magee, MD, director, Hair, Heart and Health and MedStar Diabetes Institute; David P. Nicoli, Esq., president, AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation; and Duane Johnson, M & S Barber Services Owner.

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. Connections for Cardiovascular Health was launched in 2010 through a charitable contribution of $25 million from AstraZeneca.

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