The American Heart Association Launches the EmPOWERED to Serve Urban Health Accelerator™ in Philadelphia

$60,000 in grants available for innovation that improves urban health

The American Heart Association is launching the EmPOWERED to Serve Urban Health Accelerator™- Philadelphia, a grant-based initiative to identify innovative urban business solutions to improve health in Philadelphia. From June 25 through July 23, the American Heart Association seeks submissions from organizations with innovative solutions that can range from innovative technology to community activism. Organizations will be required to submit a scalable project that has community impact, specifically in the North, West and or Southwest areas of Philadelphia. Candidates must complete an application at

The goal of this initiative is to cultivate community transformation in Philadelphia and increase healthy living behaviors. Some of the largest issues facing the Philadelphia community include inadequate housing, poverty, access to care, early childhood education, transportation, safe streets and healthy food access. All of these factors impact overall health and wellbeing. People living in Center City Philadelphia may have a life expectancy of more than 20 years longer than their neighbors just a few miles away in North Philadelphia.  By working with communities to address these and other key factors impacting health-  economic stability, education, food access, built environment and healthcare - the Accelerator is an opportunity for local entrepreneurs and organizations to receive funding to activate critical projects that will positively impact the health of Philadelphians.

The EmPOWERED to Serve Urban Health Accelerator™- Philadelphia will guide qualifying candidates through a rigorous, four-week curriculum that focuses on customer discovery, marketing strategies, and brand message storytelling. Candidates are required to show the viability of their projects. Finalists will present their business story to a panel of judges and a live audience for an opportunity to receive a $30,000 grant for first place, a $20,000 grant for second place, and a $10,000 grant for third place at the Social Determinants of Health Conference on September 24 at Temple University. The conference will convene key stakeholders to share experiences on programs, policies, and strategies aimed at reducing health inequities. The first place Philadelphia grant recipient will automatically qualify to participate in the National EmPOWERED to Serve Urban Health Accelerator™ finale on October 16 in Baltimore, Maryland for a chance at an additional $30,000 grant.

“Social determinants of health play a key role in our long-term risk of heart disease, stroke, and other devastating illnesses,” explains Dr. Rene Alvarez, president, American Heart Association, Southeastern PA. “Even though heart disease and stroke are preventable, and we offer risk-reducing advice, roadblocks remain for large portions of our community. Knowing what to do and having access to what you need to do it, are two different things,” Alvarez continued

“The American Heart Association knows that to empower change within communities and help reduce the gap in health disparities among minorities, we need to engage and support community leaders and innovators. That’s why the launch of this initiative is so important as it gives a platform to those with deep ties to the community who can identify a problem and know that they can make a difference,” says Christa Chambers-Price, EmPOWERED to Serve Urban Health Accelerator™ spokesperson and Founder of Entre-SLAM.

For additional information about the EmPOWERED To Serve Urban Health Accelerator™- Philadelphia and to submit an application, visit

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


EmPOWERED To Serve™ is a movement inspired by American Heart/ American Stroke Association multicultural volunteers around the country who are passionate about driving change through health justice and empowerment in their communities. These committed ambassadors are impacting gaps in health equity through advocacy, policy, education and social change. For information, visit

For Media Inquiries: Lauren Rose, American Heart Association

215-575-5244 /

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and

Source: American Heart Association


Categories: Business, Corporate Social Responsibility

Tags: community, entrepreneurs, health disparity, innovation, urban health