The American Heart Association Partners with Penn Medicine for Three Year Healthy Living Campaign

The ‘Life is Why’ Initiative Will Expand the Organizations’ Commitment to Serving More Philadelphians

Newswise — PHILADELPHIA – Today in Philadelphia, Penn Medicine has deepened its commitment to the American Heart Association by announcing a three-year pledge as the market’s first ever Life is Why sponsor. The American Heart Association and Penn Medicine are dedicated to creating a culture of health in Philadelphia by providing local and regional communities with education and resources that advance health and wellness.

The organizations will dedicate their collective efforts to providing access to preventive resources to underserved Philadelphians by addressing social determinants of health. In the greater Philadelphia region, Hispanic adults are the highest percentage of the population to report having difficulty accessing fruits and vegetables in their neighborhood, and African Americans have the highest percentage of adult hypertension and diabetes. Hispanic/Latino and African American communities also show the highest rates of chronic disease. In an effort to combat this, the Penn / AHA Life is Why initiative will focus on improving access, care and encouragement towards healthy lifestyle modifications.

“With Penn Medicine’s support, The American Heart Association is able to further its commitment to reducing the number of people who are affected by heart disease by 20% by the year 2020,” says Laura Hollot, Philadelphia Metro Executive Director.  “In order to achieve these community health goals, we must address the specific needs of Philadelphia and connect with the most vulnerable members of our community.”

The Life is Why partnership officially kicked off today at an interactive, educational event held at the Katie B. Jackson Plaza in West Philadelphia in partnership with The Philadelphia Housing Authority. The free event provided blood pressure screenings and health tips delivered by Penn Medicine clinicians as well as hands-only CPR training, healthy cooking demonstrations, fitness activities and healthy snacks. AHA and Penn Medicine will continue their work throughout the community over the next three years by hosting a variety of programs in effort to greatly impact and improve cardiovascular health in the Philadelphia region. 

 “This partnership not only expands our relationship with The American Heart Association, but it amplifies our commitment to delivering the highest level of care to our patients, and to providing our local and regional communities with resources and education to help them lead healthier lives,” said Michael A. Acker, MD, Director of the Heart and Vascular Center and Chief of the division of Cardiovascular Surgery at Penn Medicine. “Over the next three years, we will work together with The American Heart Association and others with the same commitment to health, to bring information and care to those in the region's most underserved areas.”


About the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association: The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to building healthier lives free of heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers.  AHA funds innovative research, fights for stronger public health policies, and provides lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke.


About Penn Medicine:

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $6.7 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2016 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2016, Penn Medicine provided $393 million to benefit our community