Healthy Heart

A pilot project to reduce cardiovascular disease disparities in Atlanta and Dallas

The Healthy Heart Initiative, under the aegis of the National Minority Quality Forum, is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. This groundbreaking pilot program is designed to strengthen the capacity of local communities in Atlanta and Dallas to eliminate the disproportionate burden of premature death and preventable illness from cardiovascular disease (CVD) through prevention, early detection, and control of disease complications. The program is targeting specific zip codes where CVD disparities in Atlanta and Dallas are significantly higher than the national average.

The Problem

CVD is the leading cause of death in the United States. Factors associated with an increased risk of developing CVD include older age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. In addition, data suggest that CVD often clusters geographically—in contiguous zip codes where the residents are primarily minorities. These CVD disparity zones are often associated with higher death rates and significantly greater hospitalization rates and costs in these minority groups.


The Healthy Heart Initiative will mobilize local-government and health-care-community leaders, businesses, physicians, medical centers, faith-based organizations, and the media to promote CVD awareness, prevention, and treatment.

Multiple screening events will be held in our target zones, collected data will be analyzed, and results will be disseminated. Patients will be educated about the importance of proper diet; some patients will be directed to health-care facilities for treatment and follow-up.

The results will serve as a model for conducting CVD programs in other communities where CVD disparities exist.

Organizations participating in the pilot programs include the following:


Atlanta Medical Association
Morehouse School of Medicine
American Heart Association Southeast Affiliate
Association of Black Cardiologists
Heroes of Football
Atlanta City Council Representatives
State Legislators
REACH for Wellness—Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness
National Kidney Foundation (Atlanta)
Center for Black Women’s Wellness
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
100 Black Women—DeKalb Chapter
Local churches
Concerned Black Clergy
Southside Ministerial Association
Maverick International
Millennium Filmworks
Georgia Division of Public Health
Georgia Office of Minority Health
United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta
Atlanta Diabetes Association
West End Medical Center
Parkland Health and Hospital System


University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
State legislators
City of Dallas Diabetes Awareness
Dallas Urban League
Dallas Concilio
Dallas County Department of Health
American Heart Association
American Diabetes Association
Dallas Parks and Recreation
Paradigm International
Fortitude Health and Wellness
Heroes of Football
Healthwise (in the Elite News)