HEART DISEASE and STROKE are the No. 1 and No. 5 KILLERS of all Americans. Across the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, these diseases combined claim more than 34,474 LIVES each year.
There is no quick fix, no one way to solve complex health issues that are affecting this generation and generations to come. That's why we are focused on five areas within our community where there is an opportunity to make the greatest impact.
TOBACCO & VAPING
Below you can learn about our community programming and partnerships across the Greater Washington Region.
412 Food Rescue: The Sum of All Parts is Better Health: Partnership Provides 800 Virginia Families with Healthy Food
EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator grant recipient 412 Food Rescue partners with food retailers, nonprofit organizations, and volunteers (affectionately called food rescue heroes) to bring healthy food directly to those experiencing food insecurity. Since receiving funding through the American Heart Association, the organization has been able to expand its footprint beyond Pennsylvania to our region. The American Heart Association facilitated an introduction between ACT’s Prince William Food Rescue, a local 412 Food Rescue partner, and organizational partner, the Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic, in Manassas, Virginia.
American Heart Association and Neighborhood Health Team Up to Help Thousands of Northern Virginia Residents Control their Blood Pressure
The American Heart Association recently began a partnership with Neighborhood Health around blood pressure awareness and control for its patients. The mission of Neighborhood Health is to improve health and advance health equity across Northern Virginia in Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax by providing high quality primary care regardless of ability to pay. Within the system there are 12 clinics that service residents in need with services ranging from family practice, internal medicine, dental care, and behavioral health.
Working on Wellness in Faith-Based Communities with the EmPOWERED & Well Healthier Church Challenge
The EmPOWERED and Well Healthier Church Challenge was a 12-week pilot program EmPowered and Well Participants in the DMV designed to support and expand the ongoing health and wellness activities of black women and their faith-based communities. It was established by the American Heart Association, with the help of its sponsor, WW International, Inc. (Weight Watchers Reimagined).
Together the American Heart Association and WW offered timely, relevant content to help church members lower their risk of heart disease and stroke, lose weight, manage blood pressure, and lower their risk of diabetes.
A New Collaboration with Prince George’s Community College Brings Heart Health to the Classroom
The American Heart Association and Prince George’s Community College announced a newly formed official partnership between the Association and the College. The Culinary Arts Center at Prince George’s Community College designated the Community Kitchen as an American Heart Association Heart Health Hub. As a Hearth Health Hub, Prince George’s Community College will incorporate the American Heart Association approved curriculum into the College’s curriculum in cooking classes focused on building healthier lives through education, skills training, and policy work related to improved nutrition. The classes will show people how to prepare healthy and nutritious meals in their homes and will feature heart healthy tips. The ultimate goal will be to increase awareness on healthy food choices to forge a healthier and more equitable food environment and reduce the food insecurity within Prince George’s County.
American Heart Association and Primary Care Coalition partner to provide emergency relief for hypertension patients in Montgomery County
Together, the Primary Care Coalition and the American Heart Association are getting blood pressure monitors to hypertension patients, which will allow them to measure their blood pressure from home. We are also actively working to connect health care providers with technical assistance in using telemedicine systems and providing access to science based COVID-19 and blood pressure management information for both patients and providers.
By quickly identifying areas of need and devising practical solutions to address these needs, partnerships such as this will help us to continue to support those in our most vulnerable populations during this public health crisis.
Healthy Food Trucks – Prince George’s County
The American Heart Association, Greater Washington Region provided menu recommendations that were adopted within the Food Truck Healthy Options Certification Program. Prince George's County, Maryland, Council passed legislature in July 2019 that encourages the implementation of a Food Truck Healthy Options Certification Program by the Health Department.
Within the scope of the Food Truck Healthy Options Certification Program the Food Truck vendors agree to provide healthy food options recommendations part of their menu, become certified by the Health Department as a healthy options food truck, agree to vend in healthy food priority areas for at least two days a week and at least four hours per day for no less than thirty weeks per year, would have all food truck hub, licensing and inspection fees waived. Certified food trucks will be provided a weather-proof decal to display on their food truck to identify themselves as such with re-certifications occurring on an annual basis. The Health Department will provide the administrative process for such certification program.
Victory for Active Transportation and a Healthier Community in Montgomery County
In a victory for active transportation and a healthier community, on May 21 the Montgomery County Council approved approximately $30 million to support bicycle and pedestrian programs in their 2021 capital budget. The American Heart Association has supported equitable allocation of bike and walking infrastructure in the County since 2017 when revision of the Bicycle Master Plan began.
In process: Prince George’s County Healthy Kids Meals
Prince George’s County Councilmember Sydney J. Harrison introduced the Prince George’s County Healthy Kids’ Meals Bill (CB-071) to the County Council. The bill is supported by a diverse coalition led by the American Heart Association and others.
The proposed legislation would make water, milk and 100% fruit juice default beverage options for all kids’ meals served at Prince George’s County restaurants. It would also ensure options in kids’ meals that would limit calories, sugar, salt and fat. Families would be able to order other beverage items upon request. The bill will improve health for county children by making the healthy choice the easy choice.
If passed, Prince George’s County would become the first jurisdiction in the country to approve a comprehensive healthy kids’ meal bill, making the county a national leader in promoting equitable health policy.
The FLiP Program, Washington, DC
FliP stand for the Family Lifestyle Program, a group convened by the American Heart Association that is a clinical-community initiative that connects Washington DC families to nutrition, physical activity, and community resources to support and maintain their health and wellbeing. FLiP members come from varying backgrounds representing a variety of organizations including Children’s National Hospital, the Metropolitan YMCA, the Nationals Baseball Academy, and the American Heart Association. The foundation of all the member organizations core mission is the critical need to sustainable health for our community.
Our pilot program will be held at two primary care clinics in Washington, DC within the Children’s National Hospital Health System. FLiP offers clinicians educational training to improve diet related disease outcomes and patient experience. This includes: motivational interviewing, laboratory assessment, overweight and obesity management, and obesity stigma.
Through the referral system the provider identifies families at risk for obesity and enroll them into the program held at two satellite clinics located in Anacostia and Columbia Heights that provide healthcare to low-income marginalized residents of Wards 7, 8, and 1 every day. The FliP team will also create a Community Resource Guide to refer patients to a variety of health & wellness resources in their neighborhood and to engage the healthcare community to expand utilization.
Through FLiP’s multi-component design the goal is to instill the connection between diet and exercise on the mind, body, and long-term health outcomes. Participants will gain culinary knowledge and skills to apply at home; learn new exercises and activities; and identify additional community resources that support their health and well-being.