Category Archives: Community support

Purposeful Collaboration: Teaming Up to Increase Community Impact

By: Dr. Joshua Thomas, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness in DE

Josh Photo - CroppedAstraZeneca recently hosted a number of non-profit partners at our North America Headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware for an event, entitled Purposeful Collaboration, which was developed based on their interest in collaborating across organizational lines for greater impact. Experts in collaboration from The Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement shared a model called Collective Impact and the groups in attendance had the opportunity to connect with one another, share information about their priorities and begin to explore potential for collaboration.

Among those in attendance was Dr. Joshua Thomas, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Delaware. Below Dr. Thomas shares his reflections on the importance of collaboration as a mindset and the role that he believes it can play in generating greater societal impact.  

The recent Purposeful Collaboration event hosted by AstraZeneca provided non-profits like my own an opportunity for communication, exploration, brainstorming and identifying areas for collaboration. Our facilitators from the Delaware Alliance for Non-profit Advancement led us in a rich discussion to explore the needs of our community and how our missions aligned to help meet these challenges.

Our discussion of organizational partnership paralleled a recent situation in my neighborhood. My family was recently awakened in the middle of the night during a terrible storm and discovered a house in our neighborhood was on fire. The family residing in the home narrowly escaped and lost the majority of their belongings and valuables. Within minutes, those on our street went from being polite neighbors to concerned friends offering comfort and pooling resources to support the family. By working together and communicating we were able to support one another and let the family who lost their home know they had a community of caring people behind them.

Those of us in the non-profit world can learn from this difficult situation. It is easy for us to get stuck in our silos, focused on our mission and fail to recognize areas where we align. But collaboration needs to be internalized as a standard way of thinking and serving our community. Many of our groups provide access to basic resources like adequate food, housing and education and others support those struggling with serious health conditions including mental illness. We have an opportunity to offer hope, encouragement, and most importantly resources to offer substantial assistance for community members in need.

By sharing resources and ideas across organizations, the nonprofit community can increase our impact focused on specific community problems. At NAMI Delaware, I am excited to partner with those non-profits working in educational environments and healthcare settings to increase access to our no-cost mental health education and support programs. This kind of collaboration can help increase success not just for NAMI Delaware, but for our partnering organizations and their participants.

As members of the community focused on addressing significant societal issues it is our responsibility to continue to remove barriers to communication and partnership. It is clear there are opportunities for non-profits and the corporate sector to work together to tackle significant community concerns. I am energized by our discussion and ready to seize opportunities to unite our efforts to make lasting and positive change for those in our community in need of our support.

Dr. Joshua Thomas is the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Delaware (NAMI Delaware). In this capacity he serves as the Chief Executive Officer of this non-profit organization, focused on advocacy, support, education and housing for people living with mental illness and their families


For more about the Collective Impact model for collaboration by visiting the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement.

From the Head to the Heart: Key Learnings to Improve Cardiovascular Health

By James W. Blasetto, MD, MPH, FACC

J Blasetto-headshotAcross the country, nonprofit, grassroots organizations conduct innovative programs designed to reduce the impact of the number one cause of death in the U.S., cardiovascular disease. Their success depends not only on funding, resources and staffing, but also finding the answers to critical questions: How do you build effective programs and demonstrate their long-term impact, not only on people’s lives but the organization as well? How do you find what works, and what doesn’t?

At the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, we seek to improve cardiovascular health by awarding Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM (CCH) grants to U.S.-based nonprofit organizations conducting health programs at the community level. We understand that these programs require more than financial support to be effective. That’s why we work with our grant awardees to build capacity and identify key learnings.

This year, the Foundation decided to draw on the knowledge and experience of its CCH grant awardees to discuss answers to some of the questions above. Representatives of nine CCH grant awardees, along with Foundation trustees, participated in four separate roundtable discussions across the country to share their key learnings about how to improve cardiovascular health.

Here are some highlights from each roundtable discussion, including the one I had the privilege to attend in Charleston, W.Va. (and click on the links to watch these discussions):

Picayune, Mississippi – February 1, 2016

In Picayune, Miss., we celebrated the work of two long-time CCH grant awardees, Manna Ministries Inc. and Mallory Community Health Center. Manna Ministries received its third grant for its Heart 2 Heart Initiative, and Mallory Community Health Center received its fourth grant to begin its Take Control of Your Health program. Both organizations reach uninsured and underserved people in a state with some of the nation’s highest rates of cardiovascular disease, obesity and poverty.

Representatives of Manna Ministries and Mallory Community Health Center agreed that behavior change is a critical, and often challenging, component of their work. It extends to debunking myths about chronic disease and ensuring that people understand the purpose of primary care. The common theme throughout the discussion was a focus on motivation and individualized care.

2016 MS Roundtable 1

Left to right: Rich Buckley, President, AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation; Ray Parisi, Trustee, AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation; Jameye Martin, RN, Executive Director, Manna Ministries; Anthony Morales, MD, Consultant Cardiologist, Louisiana Heart Hospital; Dixie Reneault, Project Director, Manna Ministries; Jessanna Guzman, Manna Ministries; Aurora King, FNP, Medical Program Director, Manna Ministries; and Dustie Adams, Manna Ministries

Van Nuys, California – February 2, 2016

Van Nuys, Calif. was the meeting place for second-year grant awardee, Westminster Free Clinic, and first-time grant awardee, Mid Valley Family YMCA. Westminster’s Corazones Sanos (Healthy Hearts) program and the YMCA’s Active Su Corazon (Activate Your Heart) program both target Latinos in southern California.

The Mid Valley Family YMCA established its program to educate and empower the local Latino community about heart health. They took into account barriers to participation, and as a result they offer classes in Spanish and provide childcare. Westminster Free Clinic uses Latino teen volunteers to lead program activities and work with local grocery stores to offer healthier foods. Westminster also noted that many of their participants hesitate to ask questions during doctors’ visits; therefore, they work closely with them to ensure they understand medical terms such as high cholesterol and what they can do about it.

2016 CA Roundtable 1

Left to right: Karla Toledo, Teen Volunteer, Westminster Free Clinic; Esperanza (Espy) Gonzalez, Case Manager, Westminster Free Clinic; Timothy J. Gardner, MD, Trustee, AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation; and Rich Buckley, President, AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation

Charleston, West Virginia – February 4, 2016

In Charleston, W.Va., we learned from West Virginia Health Right, Inc. and St. Mary’s Health Wagon, both of whom are conducting their second CCH-funded programs – Sustainable Changes and Lifestyle Enhancement (SCALE) and Heart Health 1, 2, 3, respectively. Their programs provide medical care and health education in the Appalachian region, an area often characterized by lack of access to both.

West Virginia Health Right representatives attributed their program’s weight loss success to an emphasis on cultural sensitivity. Their team helps participants to find healthier recipes for regionally popular meals and learn about financially accessible diet options. St. Mary’s Health Wagon explained the rationale behind their use of a mobile clinic. Due to the geography of the region, people often have trouble getting to healthcare providers. St. Mary’s found that by delivering healthcare to the “doorsteps” of Appalachian residents, they could provide more screening opportunities and build trust in the community.

2016 WV Roundtable 1

Left to right: James W. Blasetto, MD, MPH, FACC, Chairman, AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation and L. Kristin Newby, MD, MHS, Trustee, AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – February 9, 2016

Three first-time CCH grant awardees gathered in Philadelpia to share how they are beginning or expanding their heart health programs with support from the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation. Drexel University’s Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services, City Health Works and the Gaston & Porter Health Improvement Center Inc. all operate in urban areas on the East Coast.

Representatives of each organization highlighted some of the challenges faced by their populations, ranging from language and literacy barriers, to racial disparities in health status. Drexel representatives explained their focus on resilience as a key component of their heart health program. By building teens’ “innate ability” to bounce back from trauma, they become better equipped to manage stress and make healthy lifestyle choices. Representatives of the Gaston & Porter Health Improvement Center discussed the importance of culturally appropriate, relatable mentors. Their program for mid-life African American women is led by previous program graduates. Similarly, City Health Works uses health coaches from the same backgrounds as they clients they serve. Each group spoke about the value of funding preventive health initiatives.

2016 PA Roundtable 1

Left to right: Ann Booth-Barbarin, Trustee, AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation; Timothy J. Gardner, MD, Trustee, AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation; and Howard Hutchinson, MD, FACC, Trustee, AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation

Each year, other trustees and I have the pleasure of meeting one-on-one with these groups and seeing the incredible impact of their programs. Participants are losing weight, reducing their blood pressure and Hemoglobin A1C levels, learning more about nutrition and increasing their physical activity. At the organizational level, program leaders are sharing proven strategies to improve cardiovascular health.

These discussions are the first step in sharing program success with others working to improve cardiovascular health in their communities. By demonstrating the value of innovative, locally tailored interventions and offering insight on how to improve these efforts, we hope that others will be better equipped to carry on this work. In doing so, I believe we can make an enduring impact on cardiovascular health.

Dr. James Blasetto is the Chairman of the Board of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation and Vice President of US Medical Affairs, Evidence Generation at AstraZeneca. He also is a Fellow in the American College of Cardiology.

Pictured top of page: Left to right: Chad Maender, Executive Director, Mid Valley Family YMCA; Joni Novosel, Community Services Director, Dignity Health Northridge Hospital Medical Center; Juan De La Cruz, VP of Community Development, YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles; Lisa Safaeinili, MPH, RD, Executive Director, Westminster Free Clinic; Karla Toledo, Teen Volunteer, Westminster Free Clinic; Esperanza (Espy) Gonzalez, Case Manager, Westminster Free Clinic; Timothy J. Gardner, MD, Trustee, AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation; and Rich Buckley, President, AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation

Nonprofit Funding Opportunities from AstraZeneca Now Open for a Limited Time

At AstraZeneca we are deeply committed to making a meaningful difference in the lives of people and the communities in which they live. This commitment extends beyond our medicines; we are continually looking for new ways to collaborate with organizations and communities who share our passion for patients through strategic partnerships and philanthropy. AstraZeneca and the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation are both offering funding to eligible nonprofits in the months of January and February 2016 to advance positive outcomes for patients and communities.

Through the end of January, AstraZeneca’s Health and Science Innovation Challenge is awarding nonprofit organizations with contributions of up to $25,000 to help solve a pressing health challenge. Programs selected for funding will present a new approach, tool or technology to help solve a health challenge, or build knowledge and skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math among K-12 or undergraduate students. Online applications will be accepted from U.S.-based nonprofits through January 29, 2016 at 5pm ET and contributions will be awarded at up to $25,000 for one year.

In February, The AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, a 501(c)(3) entity separate from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, will be accepting applications for grant funding through its Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM (CCH) program. One-year grants of $150,000-$180,000 will be provided to U.S.-based nonprofit organizations working to improve cardiovascular health at the community level. Organizations should present solutions that address urgent, unmet cardiovascular health issues, including cardiovascular disease and its related risk factors. Online applications will be accepted from February 1, 2016 through February 25, 2016 at 5pm ET.

The AstraZeneca Health and Science Innovation Challenge and the AstraZeneca Healthcare Foundation are two key components of AstraZeneca’s broader commitment to making a meaningful difference for patients and communities. Stay tuned for more information about the groups selected for funding and the impact they are having in their communities. You can also visit the AstraZeneca Corporate Responsibility website to learn more about our work to advance patient health and access along the care continuum, drive health and science innovation, and help ensure the sustainability of our people and our planet.

Reaching Hearts, One Lesson at a Time

By James Blasetto, MD, MPH, FACC

J Blasetto-headshotAs Chairman of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation, I am proud of the nonprofit organizations that have empowered people to change their health – and lives – through our Connections for Cardiovascular HealthSM (CCH) program. These nonprofits use CCH grants for programs that target cardiovascular disease at the community level.

On November 3, I had the honor of representing the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, along with Joyce Jacobson, the Foundation’s Executive Director and our evaluation partners from the Center for Social and Economic Policy Research at West Chester University. We displayed a poster highlighting how the best practices of the Foundation’s CCH program contribute to the high success rates of grant awardees’ cardiovascular health programs.

We understand that each community has a different cardiovascular need and a different way to approach that need. We designed the CCH program so that grant applicants could choose the innovative methods and measures best suited to their target populations. Thanks to this flexible approach and a standardized evaluation process, CCH has supported a diverse, successful funding portfolio in terms of the program disease focus, program delivery setting, geographic location and demographics. The common thread among these programs is a focus on learning from the past and building for the future.

During this APHA poster session, I thought about how far this program has come. We established the CCH program five years ago with the simple, but tall goal of improving cardiovascular health in the United States. In 2015, we are sharing our progress toward that goal at one of the nation’s most respected public health conferences. Our grant awardees have reached over 1.2 million people with health resources and information. Over 44,000 of those people have been tracked for improvement in cardiovascular metrics such as body mass index, blood pressure, hemoglobin A1C, eating habits, exercise and more.

The CCH program fosters an environment of widespread success. We ask our grant awardees to identify key learnings that can spread not only within their communities, but beyond them as well. The goal is to develop strong program strategies, evaluation practices and sustainability efforts that we can share with other organizations across the country. CCH grants are “seed money” to make this happen.

We have a responsibility to extend our best practices because in the end, it’s all about the people we help. With robust processes in place, we can continue connecting individuals to the resources they need to improve their cardiovascular health for the long run. And that may be the best connection of all.

Dr. James Blasetto is the Chairman of the Board of the AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation and Vice President of US Medical Affairs, Evidence Generation at AstraZeneca. He also is a Fellow in the American College of Cardiology.

Pictured above: (left to right) Jeffery Osgood, PhDCenter for Social and Economic Policy Research, West Chester University; Joyce Jacobson, Executive Director, AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation; James W. Blasetto, MD, MPH, FACC, Chairman, AstraZeneca HealthCare Foundation; and R. Lorraine Bernotsky, DPhilCenter for Social and Economic Policy Research, West Chester University

Delivering on our Commitment to Military Veterans

Veterans Day, nationally observed every year on November 11, is a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. Through recent milestones, AstraZeneca has continued to pursue our goal of maintaining a workplace that attracts military veterans, addresses their unique needs and leverages their skills and experience to strengthen the company as a whole.

2016_MFE_Logo_200x200The 2016 Military Friendly® Employer designation recognizes employers who have invested considerable time, money, and personnel to build military recruiting and retention programs, as well as policies to accommodate Guard and Reservists who continue to serve our country. AstraZeneca is honored to be included in the 2016 list of the Military Friendly® Employers. We earned a place on this prestigious list by recognizing the competitive edge that transitioning military give to our workforce. The talent, skill, and experience veterans bring to the workforce is priceless.

AstraZeneca’s commitment to those who serve was also demonstrated with Paul Hudson, President, AstraZeneca US, recently signing the Employee Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Statement of Support. The intent of the program is to increase employer support by encouraging employers to act as advocates for employee participation in the military. Since its inception, hundreds of thousands of employers have signed Statements of Support, pledging their support to Guard and Reserve employees. Paul Hudson and Topher Brooke, Vice President, US Diabetes, and Executive Sponsor of the AstraZeneca Military Support Employee Resource Group, met with Gary Stockbridge, ESGR State Chair, to add AstraZeneca to the list of companies who commit to supporting military employees.

AstraZeneca recently participated in an event with the National Journal, during which a panel of veterans discussed the needs regarding veterans returning to the workforce following the end of their service. As an employer, AstraZeneca recognizes the value that veterans bring to a company and the importance of actively recruiting and retaining military veterans. Our Military Careers site is catered specifically to this population, where those interested can search for AstraZeneca jobs, read employee testimonials and learn more about our commitment to veterans.

Veterans offer valuable skills and experience that employers should actively seek to grow the strength and diversity of their workforce. We strive to continue to implement ways to make AstraZeneca a place that veterans and military employees see their full potential through fulfilling career opportunities and support resources.

Pictured above, Paul Hudson (right) signs the ESGR Statement of Support, with Topher Brook (left) and Gary Stockbridge (center).

AstraZeneca ‘Links Up’ Diabetes Online Community for Influencer Event

With social media playing an increasingly important role in healthcare, online analytics show that Twitter conversations around diabetes have continuously grown over recent years. People with diabetes have built one of the most active and robust online communities of any patient group – so much, in fact, that they’re widely known online as the #DOC (Diabetes Online Community). AstraZeneca recently hosted 11 of these influencers in Gaithersburg, Maryland for our first ever Diabetes Linkup event.

The #DiabetesLinkup provided a forum for open dialogue around unmet needs in diabetes and how together, through strength in numbers, we can bridge those gaps for the more than 29.1 million Americans living with diabetes. All agreed that the DOC plays a critical role for people living with diabetes. “The DOC can cure a lot of loneliness and gives people a little extra something to help them turn the corner with their diabetes. We have, and will continue to have, the opportunity to help people learn more about their diabetes,” said Diabetes Linkup participant, Anna Norton, of DiabetesSisters.

The event was kicked off with a presentation from Sally Okun, Vice President of Advocacy, Policy & Patient Safety at PatientsLikeMe, with whom AstraZeneca has a five-year research collaboration to use patient-reported data to shape future medicine development and help improve patient outcomes.  Sally discussed the work the organization is doing to improve the lives of patients through new knowledge derived from shared real-world experiences and outcomes aggregated in the online community, specifically around diabetes.

FullSizeRenderParticipants had an opportunity to hear from John Yee, M.D., Vice President and Head of Medical Affairs, U.S. Diabetes on AstraZeneca’s work in diabetes, as well as the chance to tour MedImmune research labs, including the cardiovascular and metabolic lab, to learn more about the scientific research underway at AstraZeneca. Science is at the core of all we do at AstraZeneca and informs the advancement of the approach to diabetes. “You need to leverage the science – it can play a major role in shifting the mindset, particularly that type 2 diabetes is not just about being overweight,” said Kate Cornell who blogs at Kate’s Sweet Success and The Type 2 Experience. “If the message can be shifted away from ‘lose some weight,’ more people are going to listen.”

IMG_2074An interactive lunch featured a selection of recipes from AstraZeneca’s Fit2Me tool, a free type 2 diabetes lifestyle support program focused on four key areas of diabetes care—food, activity, treatment information, and support. The group also sampled two flavorful vegetable dishes made onsite by Sam Talbot, a Top Chef season 2 semi-finalist who has type 1 diabetes and is a founder of Beyond Type 1, a non-profit organization which seeks to bring a new level of respect, understanding and support for those living with type 1 diabetes. Sam shared his philosophy of diabetes management – no foods are completely forbidden, but he focuses on moderation and uses fresh, sustainable ingredients whenever possible.

While the event offered a range of activities and guest speakers, the most meaningful component was the opportunity for live discussion on important topics ranging from how the DOC can provide peer support to the current challenges facing those living with diabetes. AstraZeneca thanks everyone for their participation in the inaugural Diabetes Linkup and looks forward to future opportunities to engage with this impactful group of individuals.

AZ Employees Strengthen Local Communities with Volunteer Efforts

We at AstraZeneca feel fortunate to have hundreds of employees across the U.S. that are actively and passionately engaged in volunteer work for a broad range of organizations and philanthropic initiatives. For the past several years, we’ve celebrated those employees who are making the most extraordinary impact through the Jefferson Awards for Public Service, a national program dedicated to recognizing, inspiring, and activating volunteerism in communities, workplaces, and schools across America.

We recently honored AstraZeneca’s 2015 Jefferson Awards winners, who were carefully chosen by an internal selection committee. They demonstrate exemplary leadership, serving as presidents, chapter founders and members of boards of directors, management teams and committees for the organizations they support. They have successfully spearheaded events and established programs to drive disease awareness, fundraising and engagement. They are tireless advocates for their causes, and we admire their devotion, enthusiasm and extreme motivation.

Below is full list of our 2015 Jefferson Awards winners. Please join us in congratulating them for their tremendous achievements and the great work they’re doing in their communities.

Rebecca Gomez (Grand Winner), Clinical Services Associate – Newark, CA:

Rebecca attended the Jefferson Awards Foundation’s national award ceremony in Washington, D.C. in June as AstraZeneca’s Grand Winner. As a member of the Leadership Committee for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Newark, California since 2013, Rebecca has fundraised, educated, and empowered cancer fighters and survivors, as well as caregivers. Earlier this year, Rebecca was awarded the 2015 Community Hero Award from California State Assemblyman Kansen Chu. Rebecca is also a member of the Ohlone Community College President’s Advisory Council, where she provides guidance on ways to improve academic programs and missions in the community.

Voltaire Cao, Diabetes Sales Specialist – Cave Creek, AZ:

Voltaire has held a variety of local leadership roles with the American Diabetes Association (ADA),including serving on the Community Leadership Board and as Team Captain for the Tour de Cure, the ADA’s signature cycling event. Voltaire has also participated and helped coordinate the involvement of AZ employees in other local ADA events, including the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, for which he has also served as Team Captain.

Jennifer Dumas, Sr. Executive Pharmaceutical Sales Specialist – Lewiston, ME:

For more than a decade, Jennifer has volunteered and advocated for the Maine Cancer Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving Maine’s cancer incidence and mortality rates by funding cancer research and patient impact programs. For the past five years, Jennifer has served on the Foundation’s Board of Directors in a variety of leadership roles.

Colette McCoy, District Sales Manager, Oncology – Otisco, IN:

Colette founded the Kentuckiana Chapter of the Lung Cancer Alliance to raise awareness and bring lung cancer screening and proper treatment to the attention of the public health community in Kentucky and Indiana. In addition, since 2009, Colette has served on the Kentucky Cancer Consortium State Cancer Planning Committee and helped form the coalition surrounding Kentucky LEADS, a first of its kind, state-wide prevention, education, detection and survivorship program for lung cancer.

Suzanne Prince, Pharmaceutical Sales Specialist – Knoxville, TN:

Suzanne is President of the Junior League of Knoxville, an organization of 800 women who are committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving their communities. In addition to the Junior League, Suzanne is a member of the Leadership Society and Advocacy Task Force for Women’s Fund, as well as the Knoxville Academy of Medicine Alliance.

Tim “Buddy” Teale, Diabetes Sales Specialist – Greenwood, AR:

For more than 15 years, Buddy has volunteered and coached various sports for Special Olympics Arkansas, and is currently a member of the Management Team that coordinates all of the sports events and fundraising for the area. In 2014, Buddy and his family garnered national attention when they were featured on the Golf Channel, bringing not only pride to the local Special Olympic chapters, but also boosting corporate and individual donations to support programs that help athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Michelle Wang, Marketing Leader – Wilmington, DE:

Michelle has served on several committees as part of the American Lung Association in Delaware, an organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy, and research. Michelle also volunteers with the Delaware National Brain Tumor Society and serves as treasurer for the Delaware Swim and Fitness Tri-DAWGS, for which she completed her first triathlon in 2011.

AstraZeneca is proud of these employees who dedicate their time and energy to supporting and improving their communities through valuable volunteer work.

AZ Employee Among Top Movember Fundraisers

When Mike Kavanagh, Director of Sales Operations for Diabetes at AstraZeneca, began searching for a way to join the fight against cancer, he wanted to become involved in a campaign that would make a real difference and honor the memory of his grandmother, mother and wife, all of whom he lost to different forms of cancer. After considering how he could best leverage his professional and personal experiences to make a true impact, he decided to join hundreds of his AstraZeneca colleagues in support of the Movember Foundation, an organization that raises awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically testicular and prostate cancer and mental health.

Mike K2Movember fundraising takes place during the month of November, when men grow mustaches as a way to initiate the conversation about men’s health, and fundraise in various ways. Mike began sharing the story of how cancer has affected his family, and the donations began pouring in. Now, with only days left in the campaign (fundraising officially ends December 9), Mike is the second highest individual fundraiser across the country, having raised more than $46,000. All of us at AstraZeneca applaud his efforts and are cheering him on as the campaign comes to a close.

Mike’s success has garnered attention from both the local media as well as Movember. See his NBC Philadelphia news story here and his feature article on the Movember site here.

Collectively, a team of more than 375 AstraZeneca employees, both men and women, have raised over $127,000 so far through their Movember fundraising efforts this year by either growing mustaches or supporting those who have. This was one of several charitable efforts accomplished this fall by employees across the US business in an effort to fight diseases, raise awareness and build stronger relationships with one another.

A Season For Giving From AZ Employees

On this Giving Tuesday, we want to take a moment to recognize the thousands of AstraZeneca employees who give of their time, skills and money to support those in need in their local communities.

Every day, AstraZeneca and our employees work hard to improve the health and wellbeing in cities, towns and neighborhoods across the United States – including through volunteering, leading and participating in fundraisers, and even growing facial hair. Those efforts were fully on display in Movember November, including:


AZ employees supported the Philadelphia ADA Walk despite the cold, rainy weather.

American Diabetes Association Walks: AstraZeneca sponsored American Diabetes Association Step Out Walks in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Houston, while employees, families and friends participated in 30 walks in other cities across the country. These walks support the ADA’s mission to help patients achieve a life free of diabetes and improve the well-being of people living with the disease. The combined sponsorship and fundraising activities resulted in more than $145,000 in contributions to the American Diabetes Association.

Tosh Butt, VP of Primary Care Sales, shows off his pink.

Tosh Butt, VP of Primary Care Sales, shows off his pink

Passionately Pink: Sixty teams of AstraZeneca employees across the United States participated in the eighth annual Passionately Pink for the Cure (PPFTC). For the second year in a row, AstraZeneca employees ranked as the No. 1 grassroots organization, raising more than $42,000 through 577 donations. Money was raised through car washes, garage sales, cake bakes, game nights, jean day ticket sales and raffles. Over the last eight years, AstraZeneca employees have donated more than $263,000 toward breast cancer screening, research and outreach through PPFTC, a Susan G. Komen® for the Cure organization.

Movember: More than 375 AstraZeneca employees participated in Movember, a global men’s health charity that encourages men to grow moustaches for 30 days in November to promote awareness and raise money for men’s health – focusing on prostate and testicular cancer and mental health. AstraZeneca employees raised more than $125,000 through a variety of activities throughout the month, including a kickoff party, raffles, guest bartending, individual social media engagement and a shave-off party. AZ’s Mike Kavanagh is currently in the running for top individual fundraiser across the country, having raised over $45,000.

Additionally, this fall AstraZeneca employees volunteered their time preparing homes for Delaware families with Habitat for Humanity. Several employees also spent time with our long time partner Ronald McDonald House of Delaware – helping prepare dinner for families of ill children.

Through these and many other programs, AstraZeneca’s employees give back year round in every corner of the United States. We thank them – and the organizations and individuals who are participating in today’s Giving Tuesday.

ACC Completes Hospital Selection in Their Innovative Patient Navigator Program

TPNP Logo Graphic_High Reshe American College of Cardiology (ACC) has announced that 20 hospitals from across the country have been selected to participate in the ACC Patient Navigator Program, rounding out the 35 total hospitals in the program.

This innovative initiative, which has already launched in 15 hospitals, is designed to provide participating hospitals with training and resources to establish navigator teams charged with coordinating personalized support for patients diagnosed with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), including heart attack, and heart failure (HF) during their hospital stay and in the weeks following their discharge when they are most vulnerable.

AstraZeneca is proud to be the Founding Sponsor to support this ACC initiative. We are the first company to provide large-scale funding for this type of national, cardio-focused patient navigator program.

“It is an exciting milestone to see all 35 hospitals enrolled in the ACC Patient Navigator Program because now more patients and caregivers will have access to the support and services provided by the Patient Navigator teams in hospitals across the country,” said Gregory F. Keenan, M.D., Vice President and U.S. Head Medical Officer, AstraZeneca. “At AstraZeneca, we know that cardiovascular disease impacts each patient differently, and the needs of patients and caregivers are distinct and personal following a heart attack. That’s why we’re proud to be the founding sponsor of this program, and our hope is that supporting initiatives like this can help make a meaningful difference for patients and their families.”

According to the ACC, they have carefully chosen a diverse group of hospitals from across the country to participate in their program, representing a broad patient population and hospital treatment approaches to cardiac care.

The 20 newly selected hospitals include:

  • Aurora BayCare Medical Center, Green Bay, WI
  • Baptist Health Louisville, Louisville, KY
  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis, MO
  • California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
  • Centra Lynchburg General Hospital, Lynchburg, VA
  • Fairview Hospital, Cleveland, OH
  • Indian River Medical Center, Vero Beach, FL
  • Mercy Hospital, Portland, ME
  • Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, IA
  • Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark, NJ
  • Olathe Medical Center, Olathe, KS
  • Renown Regional Medical Center, Reno, NV
  • Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport, CT
  • Tacoma General Hospital, Tacoma, WA
  • University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora, CO
  • University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX
  • West Jefferson Medical Center, Marrero, LA
  • Western Maryland Health System, Cumberland, MD
  • Wyoming Medical Center, Casper, WY

The 15 previously selected hospitals include:

  • Advocate Sherman Hospital, Elgin, IL
  • Christiana Care Health Services, Wilmington, DE
  • Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
  • Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis, IN
  • MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC
  • Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Portland, OR
  • Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • Mary’s Hospital, Waterbury, CT
  • Trident Health, Charleston, SC
  • Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute, Nashville, TN
  • WakeMed Health and Hospital, Raleigh, NC
  • Scott & White Healthcare, Temple, TX
  • VCU Pauley Heart Center VCU Medical Center, Richmond, VA
  • Montefiore Medical Center, New York, NY
  • Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville, AL

As cardiovascular leaders, this program aligns with AstraZeneca’s commitment to patients and finding novel approaches to improving cardiovascular care.

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