Mecklenburg County’s Village HeartBEAT is being recognized by the Aetna Foundation as one of only two Grand Prize Winners in the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge, a two-year national health competition empowering 50 cities and counties to create healthier communities.

Village HeartBEAT will receive a $500,000 grant to continue their work to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease among Mecklenburg community members.

Village HeartBEAT, a Mecklenburg County Public Health Initiative, reduced heart disease and obesity in Mecklenburg’s African-American, Hispanic communities and faith-based communities. By providing training for more than 600 Health Ambassadors, the program garnered support from more than 60 churches and engaged 700 community volunteers and 24,000 participants in just two years. As a result, they have seen a 3.5 percent decrease in smoking and a 5.3 percent decrease in obesity among participants.

Since 2016, the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge, a partnership between the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the National Association of Counties (NACo), awarded a total of $1.5 million in grants and prizes to the 50 participating programs to support their efforts to tackle the most pressing health issues facing their communities.

Click here for more information about Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge. Click here for more information about Village HeartBEAT.


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