HHSI Recieves Grant from American Heart Association



CONTACT: Allison Slattery, 413-348-1829




Harbor Health Services Receives Grant from American Heart Association to Fund Program Dedicated to Fighting Childhood Obesity

DORCHESTER, MA – Local non-profit, Harbor Health Services, was recently awarded a $7,500 grant by the American Heart Association to help fund their Building Blocks of Health program which will lead students through an evidence-based nutrition and physical activity curriculum created by the Michigan Model for Health.


The Building Blocks of Health program has prevention staff members that will teach students information on topics including healthy eating, exercise, dietary guidelines and nutritional content of food. In addition, students are encouraged to act as change agents in their community requiring participants to spread and share what they have learned with peers, families and members of their social network.

“At Harbor, we believe that it is crucial to identify the root causes of health disparities, addressing these social determinants to create sustainable change in the lives of those we serve,” said Ryan Ribeiro, Program Director at Harbor Health Services. “With our program, we hope to not only impact the youth participants, but the greater community as a whole, thereby creating sustainable change within Dorchester.”

Among children today, obesity is causing a broad range of health problems that previously weren’t seen until adulthood. If current trends continue, today’s kids could be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents. Parents and caregivers are essential decision makers when it comes to the nutrition, physical activity and health needs of children. This group of both new and continuing partners will provide invaluable resources and education to the communities most in need in the fight against childhood obesity.

“Harbor Health Services shares a mutual passion with the American Heart Association in building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and in particular, a dedication to combating childhood obesity and improving family health,” said Penny McGuire, Director of Community Health for the American Heart Association. “This funding will help provide Harbor Health Services with the opportunities to ensure meaningful activities continue and that new, creative projects are developed in the Dorchester community.”

The Greater Boston Division of the American Heart Association has recognized the need to support community-based activities that address our mission to build healthier lives and fight heart disease and stroke. This year’s Community Impact Grants program is made possible through a sponsorship by Santander Bank, N.A., whose funding is helping to ensure that these activities continue and that new, creative projects and partnerships are developed. For more information regarding the Community Impact Grant program, please go to www.heart.org/BostonCIG.


About the American Heart Association

Founded in 1924, we’re the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat these diseases – America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers – we fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit www.heart.org.





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