About the Community Impact Grants

About Utica Community Impact GrantsThe American Heart Association has recognized the need to fund and to work with community-based organizations that are working to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. It is essential that we, as a community, engage individuals and organizations to build an equitable and sustainable culture of health in the Mohawk Valley so all residents live healthfully in environments that support healthy behaviors, timely and quality care and well-being.

12% of families, including 6.5 million children, are living in food insecure households in the United States. Hungry children struggle in school and suffer from higher rates of mental health challenges. Chronic hunger is linked with higher rates of chronic disease and reduced levels of ideal of cardiovascular health.

One third of children and teens in the United States are overweight or obese, putting them at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Only about one in five adults and teens get enough exercise to maintain good health. Evidence shows a strong relationship between physical inactivity and an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. All physical activity, especially moderate-to-vigorous activity, can help offset these risks. The American Heart Association recommends that adults engage in 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity or an equivalent combination of both.

In the past few decades, the rates of tobacco use have steadily declined in the United States and are now at historic lows. However, the burden of combustible tobacco use remains high, especially in vulnerable populations. Smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in the United States, yet cigarette smoking claims 480,000 lives in the U.S. prematurely every year. There are also more tobacco trends tempting a new generation, including flavored cigars and cigarillos, tobacco pipes, smokeless tobacco and new oral products such as e-cigarette, pouches, strips and lozenges. Data shows 1 in 4 teens are using e-cigarettes, according to the 2011 to 2018 National Youth Survey.

Nearly half of all adult Americans – about 103 million people – have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension) and that number is increasing even though high blood pressure can usually be easily treated. Of those with high blood pressure, roughly half do not have it under control. High blood pressure is often noted as a contributing risk factor to heart attack and heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and other deadly consequences.

Community Impact Grant focus areas

We are looking for innovative programs that address social determinants of health and work to increase the consumption of healthy foods, increase the number of individuals who meet the recommended amount of physical activity, reduce tobacco use and increase access to blood pressure screenings and education that can be tied to health outcomes in the underserved populations.

  1. Healthy eating – improving access to and consumption of healthy foods
  2. Physical activity – increasing % of youth and adults that meet physical activity guidelines
  3. Tobacco use – eliminate tobacco and e-cigarette use and exposure to secondhand smoke
  4. Blood pressure – reduce hypertension and improve blood pressure control rates in underserved populations

Improving healthy food access

We are looking for programs that improve healthy food access through innovative and effective community collaborations, environmental and programmatic interventions and targeted focus on the most affected food deserts. A program with measurable impact would need to change the landscape of food choices available to consumers and demonstrate how the program is sustainable and/or replicable.

Physical activity

Physical activity programs should help improve community environments that support biking/walking to work or school or increase recreational physical activity levels for people of all ages and abilities. Programs can also focus on increasing access for people of all ages and abilities to indoor and/or outdoor places for physical activity.

Tobacco use

Tobacco programs should focus on implementation of evidence-based programs and interventions that drive policy, system and environmental changes to decrease access to and use of combustible tobacco and electronic vaping products. Special consideration will be given to tobacco control and prevention efforts and regulation that are targeted and tailored to at-risk populations, including youth and adolescents, those who live in rural areas, racial and ethnic groups with high tobacco use, those with mental health conditions, those with less education and low income and those who identify as LGBTQ.

Blood pressure control

Help reduce hypertension rates in our community. Blood pressure control proposals should be evidence-based hypertension management programs that utilize blood pressure monitoring to empower patients/participants in underserved populations to take ownership of their cardiovascular health. Programs should focus on increasing awareness of the connection between HBP and the risk of heart attack and stroke, drive innovative approaches for HBP management and increase the number of people controlling their blood pressure to acceptable levels. Acceptable levels for blood pressure are less than 140/90mmHg.

Funding & grant term

The grant funding is up to $10,000 per project. The term of the proposed project is 12 months – June 1, 2020-May 31, 2021

Questions? Contact: heartofutica@heart.org