DALLAS, TX – May 1, 2018 – (HISPANICIZE WIRE) – The American Heart Association is launching the EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Health Accelerator™, a grant-based initiative to identify innovative, clearly-defined urban business solutions to drive community change to improve health and well-being. The goal of this initiative is to increase healthy living behaviors, enhance the chain of survival and cultivate community transformation. By working in communities to address key factors that impact health and wellbeing – economic stability, education, societal influences, neighborhoods and healthcare – the Accelerator is an opportunity to receive funding to activate critical projects that will positively impact urban community health.

Starting today, on the first day of American Stroke Month through June 30, the Association seeks submissions from businesses with creative solutions to solve community issues that prevent people from having equal access to health and well-being. Some issues include inadequate housing, early childhood development and healthy food access. The submission process requires candidates to complete an application and upload a 90 second or less video at empoweredtoserve.org.

Community environments play a crucial role in health outcomes. People living just five miles apart can have a difference in life expectancy of more than 20 years. That’s why the American Heart Association – the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke – is working from within communities and seeking fresh ideas to impact health through the EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Health Accelerator™.

“I know the central role that social determinants of health play in our long-term risk of heart disease, stroke and other devastating illnesses. 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. Knowing what to do and having access to what you need to do it, are two different things,” said Keith B. Churchwell, M.D., chair of the American Heart Association’s Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health Task Force and senior vice president, operations and executive director at the Heart and Vascular Center and Transplantation Center, Yale-New Haven Health.

The EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Health Accelerator™ guides candidates through a rigorous, six-to-eight week curriculum that focuses on customer discovery, marketing strategies and brand message storytelling. Candidates are required to show the viability of their projects.

The Association will invite final candidates to the EmPOWERED To Serve Summit on Oct. 16, in Baltimore, Maryland. The final candidates will present their projects to a panel of judges from the marketing, media and investment communities for an opportunity to receive up to $30,000 in grants, and meet leaders at the Association’s local affiliates, corporations and the community to continue their projects.

“The American Heart Association knows that to empower change within multicultural communities and help reduce the gap in health disparities among minorities, we need to engage and support community leaders and innovators. That’s why the launch of this initiative is so important as it gives a platform to those with deep ties to the community who can identify a problem and know that they can make a difference,” says Christa Chambers-Price, EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Health Accelerator™ spokesperson and Founder of Entre-SLAM.

For additional information about EmPOWERED To Serve and to register or nominate candidates for the Accelerator initiative, visit empoweredtoserve.org.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

ABOUT EmPOWERED To Serve™
EmPOWERED To Serve™ is a movement inspired by American Heart/ American Stroke Association multicultural volunteers around the country who are passionate about driving change through health justice and empowerment in their communities. These committed ambassadors are impacting gaps in health equity through advocacy, policy, education and social change. For information, visit empoweredtoserve.org.