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Funding Innovative Urban Health Solutions

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Funding Innovative Urban Health Solutions

Did you know that a community’s health is significantly impacted by social and economic factors? That’s right, your ZIP code may have more to do with how healthy you are and how long you live than your genetic code does! That’s why we’re working to fund innovative solutions designed to remove health barriers at the community level, and we want you to be a part of the solution.


We know that community health disparities exist. People living just five miles apart can have a difference in life expectancy of more than 20 years due to factors such as economic stability, education, societal influences and health care. For example:

  • A recent study showed that Hispanic adults who live in counties with high concentrations of Hispanics are about 60 percent more likely than those who don’t to die from heart disease and stroke.
  • In another study, researchers found that black heart attack patients were less likely than white patients to undergo aggressive medical procedures or be given certain types of medications normally prescribed under common treatment guidelines.

Solving for Health Disparities

The problem is real, and we’re working to find real solutions. Through EmPOWERED to Serve™ the American Heart Association unites people to help make an impact on the high rates of heart disease and stroke within multicultural communities.

One exciting way we’re doing this is with the Urban Health Accelerator™. This business leadership training opportunity awards grants totaling $90,000 to entrepreneurs, startups and non-profits with innovative community-based business models designed to 1) change behaviors, 2) expand access and 3) improve long-term health by overcoming systemic challenges in urban communities. The Accelerator provides intensive training for selected applicants in the areas of brand development, marketing, strategy, customer segmentation and business models. It’s like an eight-week MBA-type experience for social entrepreneurs to help them achieve big goals and track progress and impact.

Be Part of the Solution

We invite you to join the 2018 EmPOWERED to Serve Summit and Urban Health Accelerator Finale, which will be streamed via Facebook Live on October 16, 6-8 p.m. ET. Follow @AmericanHeart and @EmPoweredtoServe for notifications and more info about the event. And be part of the conversation using #EmPoweredtoServe on social media.

Talk about reality TV… You’ll meet the top eight Accelerator qualifiers from more than 30 applicants and watch as they present their business models to a panel of judges from the marketing, media and investment communities. Three projects will receive grant funding and you can vote live for Fan Favorite. That’s right, this is your chance to be one of the “sharks” in the tank!

Are you up to the challenge?