American Heart Association to improve community health in Pawtucket and Central Falls through funding from CDC

(PAWTUCKET AND CENTRAL FALLS, RI, 12/3/15) – The American Heart Association (AHA) is one of three national organizations funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to build and strengthen health promotion efforts at the community level. This award is part of the second round of funding provided to the AHA and brings the number of AHA communities working to improve community health from 15 to 30. This work is part of CDC’s Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) National Organization’s program through the Division of Community Health.


This funding will reach 15 new markets around the country, including Pawtucket and Central Falls. The goal in these communities is to help reduce tobacco use and exposure, improve nutrition, and increase physical activity. These newly added markets join the 15 communities that have already been supported by the initiative since April 2015, allowing the AHA to continue promoting healthy lifestyles for all people. Learn more about the work in Providence since April by visiting the ANCHOR website.


“The American Heart Association looks forward to working closely with our partners from all 15 communities in the second cohort of the ANCHOR Initiative,” said Nancy Brown, the Association’s Chief Executive Officer. “Together, there are great opportunities ahead to positively impact cardiovascular health by promoting smoke-free environments, improving access to healthy foods and beverages, and encouraging increased physical activity. Also, we’d like to thank and congratulate our Cohort 1 partners, who have been making outstanding progress in their communities through their innovative strategies in these same three critical health areas.”

As one of the new areas selected for funding, Pawtucket and Central Falls will focus specifically on increasing access to healthy foods and beverages, and increasing physical activity among children. Rhode Island’s adult obesity rate is currently 27%, up from 16.9% in 2000.

“These funds will go a long way to help improve the health of people across Pawtucket and Central Falls,” said Dr. Karen Aspry, Cardiologist and President-Elect of the American Heart Association’s Rhode Island Board of Directors. “We are proud to be a part of this national initiative and look forward to helping the American Heart Association promote healthy lifestyles in our community.”

These efforts are part of the American Heart Association’s mission to transform the way Americans eat, live, and play and to curb the prevalence of disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined and affecting families across the country every day. The factors leading to increased risk – tobacco use, physical inactivity and poor diet – must be addressed so more people can live longer, healthier, happier lives. By 2020, the American Heart Association wants to improve the overall cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent over the next decade.

For additional information on other markets also receiving funding, please visit


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 or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. #GetHealthyRI

Leave a Reply