Heart Association’s New Accelerator Puts Focus on Community Health

Concerned about greatly differing health outcomes for people who live even short distances away from one another, the American Heart Association is offering grants to entrepreneurs who come up with successful ways to improve community health.

The American Heart Association, which has gained a reputation for keeping an eye on the future in recent years, is ready to accelerate its mission in a whole new way.

AHA recently announced a new accelerator targeted at improving health  outcomes in underserved communities. The EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Health Accelerator will support business ideas that can help solve inequality related to health in urban areas.

In announcing the initiative, Keith B. Churchwell, M.D., who chairs AHA’s Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health Task Force, noted that social conditions and resources present in a community play an important role in residents’ health outcomes, even when those who live there know the steps necessary to live a healthy lifestyle.

“Even though heart disease and stroke are preventable and we tell people what they need to do to reduce their risks, for many people it’s not that easy,” Churchwell said in a news release. “Knowing what to do and having access to what you need to do it are two different things.”

The accelerator, which is accepting applications through June 30, will have finalists present their projects at the EmPOWERED To Serve Summit in Baltimore in October. If selected, successful creators could earn as much as $30,000 in grants to support turning the idea into a reality. The meeting will also provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet with stakeholders from around the country—including local AHA leaders, community leaders, and corporations.

The accelerator “gives a platform to those with deep ties to the community who can identify a problem and know that they can make a difference,” Christa Chambers-Price, a spokesperson for the program, said in the announcement.

(MicroStockHub/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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