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Connections for Cardiovascular Health announces grant to West Virginia Health Right, Inc.

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation program, Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM announced a grant of more than $186,000 to West Virginia Health Right, Inc. in Charleston to expand the Pathways to Cardiovascular Health program.

The Pathways to Cardiovascular Health program is designed to improve the health status of working-poor and low-income people through participation in health education classes, screenings and self-management of diet, exercise and medication adherence.

According to the Centers for Disease Control’s most recent Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, West Virginia has the highest prevalence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes while ranking number two in the nation for obesity/overweight conditions, tobacco usage, stroke and hypertension.

“The Pathways to Cardiovascular Health program helps empower patients to make sustainable lifestyle changes coupled with responsible healthy choices that will result in improved health,” said Patricia H. White, executive director, West Virginia Heath Right. “Improvement in uninsured patients’ health status is a positive social and economic indicator for the entire community.”

The Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM grant will be used to expand existing classes in smoking cessation, weight loss and diabetes management. Additionally, a heart healthy program will be added to the class offerings at the clinic. All classes include stress management techniques, blood pressure monitoring and an exercise component.

“Cardiovascular disease is taking a terrible toll on our families, our communities and our nation,” said James W. Blasetto, MD, chairman of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation. “West Virginia Health Right is developing creative heart-healthy programs tailored to meet the individual needs of uninsured adults in south central West Virginia.”