The American Heart Association, the leading voluntary health organization focused on heart and brain health, announced today that it has invested a total of $1.15 million in eight social entrepreneurs combating disparities that adversely impact health outcomes. The initial round of investments in Flint, Michigan and Boston are the first disbursements from the Association’s Social Impact Fund, which was established to support local entrepreneurs, small businesses and organizations in under-resourced communities to help them scale their sustainable solutions addressing social determinants of health – the environmental and social conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.
These conditions highlight the challenges faced by individuals living in the poorest pockets of our society as a result of unsafe or unaffordable housing, limited access to healthy foods and even stressful relationships. Such inequity can make a major difference in cardiovascular health, quality of life – and even life expectancy.
Where you live shouldn’t determine how well or how long you live, but it does. In fact, approximately 80 percent of a person’s health is determined by factors other than access and quality of clinical care. Through the Social Impact Fund, the American Heart Association aims to fuel these efforts and break down social and economic barriers that prevent millions of people from living longer, healthier lives.