The American Heart Association Receives A $1.7 million Multi-Year Grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation To Improve Access and Outcomes for Vulnerable Populations in Baltimore

Initiative focuses on improving patient transitions between primary and specialty care for populations affected by stroke, atrial-fibrillation and venous thromboembolism.
Mar 30, 2018 12:00 PM ET

BALTIMORE, March 30, 2018 /3BL Media/ —The American Heart Association today announced the receipt of a $1.7 million grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation that will address patient care across the care continuum. With this grant, the AHA will convene a task force representing the myriad of stakeholders in the patient care journey: cardiology specialty care providers, primary care providers, government, payer groups, and representatives of the patients we seek to serve. This work will complement the existing strategies being implemented through the Accountable Health Community work, spearheaded by the Baltimore City Healthy Department.

The AHA is launching a collective impact strategy: Community Health in Action. The Community Health in Action Taskforce (CHAT) aims to develop and implement strategies to address disparities and inequities that impact a patient’s ability to effectively access and navigate the healthcare system and that also impact the healthcare system’s ability to effectively reach out to and serve poor and medically underserved patients. This initiative will focus on improving the health outcomes of the most venerable Baltimore communities disproportionately affected by cardiovascular diseases including stroke, atrial-fibrillation (AFib) and venous thromboembolism (VTE).

“No collective impact model or action should be enacted without key stakeholders and patient voices at the helm. That is why this CHAT is so important,” said Dr. Athol Morgan, American Heart Association of Greater Maryland Board Member and CHAT Co-Lead. “We have as much to learn from our community as we have to give.”

“Heart disease and stroke are the number one and three causes of death in Baltimore and figure heavily into the city’s age-adjusted mortality rate being 40 percent higher than the rest of the state,” said John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “The AHA and its diverse set of partners in Baltimore are urgently seeking to change that picture for those at highest risk and bearing the greatest burden of disease, and we are very pleased to support this work.”

The strengthening of the provider and stakeholder network through the Community Health in Action Taskforce will help build lasting relationships and foster sustainable impact. Feedback from data captured in our quality improvement programs will help inform protocols for transitions of care and management of AFib, VTE, hypertension, and stroke, these solutions can be developed with a subset of partners and delivered to the wider taskforce group to foster longterm systems change in care delivery and coordination.

The CHAT will work to integrate primary and specialty care, increasing capacity for providers, and linking the wide array of stakeholders in Baltimore’s health community that will ultimately strengthen the continuum of care for those who are most in need. This is a three-year initiative with a vision of health equity and equal access to quality healthcare resources for all.

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.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
The mission of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to promote health equity and improve the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases and conditions, by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease. For more information about the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, please visit or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

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