The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation program, Connections for Cardiovascular Health Monday announced a grant of more than $252,000 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,” said Kim Eagle, M.D., 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 Project Healthy Schools 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.

“Cardiovascular disease is taking a terrible toll on our families, our communities and our nation,” said James W. Blasetto, M.D., chairman of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation. “The University of Michigan is developing a creative heart-healthy program tailored to meet the individual needs of the community.”

The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation program, Connections for Cardiovascular Health, awards grants of $150,000 and up to United States-based non-profit organizations that are doing innovative work in the field of cardiovascular health in the United States.
Organizations can learn more and apply online for a Foundation grant at For this year, applications must be completed by 5 p.m. Eastern time April 20.

The University of Michigan Health System includes the UM Hospitals & Health Centers, which comprises three hospitals and dozens of outpatient health centers and clinics; the UM Medical School with its Faculty Group Practice and extensive research and education programs; the clinical operations of the UM School of Nursing; and the Michigan Health Corp. The three UM hospitals are University Hospital, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital.

The UM 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.

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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.


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