PHILADELPHIA, January 12, 2021 — The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, today announced a $1 million gift from the Andréa W. and Kenneth C. Frazier Family Foundation to the Association’s Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund.
The Tyson Fund invests in evidence-based, community-driven entrepreneurial solutions that address social determinants of health. The contribution will be directed in two rounds of funding to local nonprofits and social entrepreneurs working to improve access to healthcare, food and housing, as well as economic empowerment in North Philadelphia.
Local for-profit and not-for profit organizations operating in the Nicetown-Tioga, Sharswood-Stanton and Strawberry Mansion neighborhoods can submit expressions of interest for funding starting on January 13, 2021, by visiting www.heart.org/en/bernard-j-tyson-fund. A virtual town hall event will be held on February 11, 2021, to gain community input and to help identify where additional support is needed to scale impact. Funding decisions will be announced in the Spring of 2021.
“We are so grateful to Andréa and Ken Frazier for their ongoing support of the American Heart Association and their commitment to investing in social impact funding in their own community,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. “We are excited for the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund to complement the work of the Frazier Family Coalition for Stroke Education and Prevention powered by Jefferson Health and Temple Health. What an incredible way to honor their friend, the late Bernard J. Tyson, and to further his legacy of social justice and health equity.”
A stroke survivor, Andréa Frazier is a long-time volunteer and supporter of the American Heart Association and recently joined the Southeastern Pennsylvania Board of Directors. Kenneth Frazier is Chairman and CEO of the biopharmaceutical company Merck & Co. The Fraziers’ support has helped the American Heart Association place 10 commercial refrigerators at food pantries, provide 60 home health kits to hypertensive patients at federally qualified health centers and help fund the Association’s COVID-19 relief efforts.
“Social and economic determinants have a profound impact on health outcomes in our communities. We are grateful for the opportunity to help support the Tyson Fund as it implements entrepreneurial solutions to address this issue,” Andréa and Ken Frazier said in a joint statement. “Throughout his life, Bernard J. Tyson worked to broaden access to the healthcare system, and we are pleased to support the continuation of his legacy in North Philadelphia, a community in which our family has deep roots.”
About 50 million people in the US are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease because they lack the most basic necessities -- healthy food, clean air and drinking water, quality education, employment and housing. These factors can contribute to a person’s longevity and quality of life. In Philadelphia, the Nicetown-Tioga, Sharswood-Stanton and Strawberry Mansion neighborhoods rank among the lowest in the city for both length of life and quality of life, as well as health factors such as the physical environment and social and economic factors.
“We’ve seen first-hand the dire health impact some of our neighborhoods experience here in Philadelphia,” said Jennifer Davis, Senior Vice President of the American Heart Association’s Philadelphia/Delaware/Southern New Jersey region. “Your zip code shouldn’t determine your quality of life -- or your lifespan. Through the generous support of the Andréa W. and Kenneth C. Frazier Family Foundation, we’re investing in grassroots solutions that will make a significant impact on the health and well-being of people who live in some of Philadelphia’s most under-resourced communities.”
Since launching in June 2020, the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund has supported 11 social entrepreneurs and nonprofits in New York, San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. The fund honors the late Bernard J. Tyson, long-time American Heart Association volunteer and former Kaiser Permanente CEO. Tyson worked tirelessly to overcome structural and systemic barriers to support social justice and equitable health for all.
Learn more about the AHA’s Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund here.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
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