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New Initiative To Improve Community Health Launched in Fargo and West Fargo



The American Heart Association is one of three national organizations funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to build and strengthen health promotion efforts at the community level. This award is part of the second round of funding provided to the AHA and brings the number of AHA communities working to improve community health from 15 to 30. This work is part of CDC’s Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) National Organization’s program through the Division of Community Health.

This funding will reach 15 new markets around the country, including Cass County.  The goal is to help reduce tobacco use and exposure, improve nutrition, and increase physical activity. These newly added markets join the 15 communities that have already been supported by the initiative since April 2015, allowing the AHA to continue promoting healthy lifestyles for all people.

“The American Heart Association looks forward to working closely with our partners from all 15 communities in the second cohort of the ANCHOR Initiative,” said Nancy Brown, the Association’s Chief Executive Officer. “Together, there are great opportunities ahead to positively impact cardiovascular health by promoting smoke-free environments, improving access to healthy foods and beverages, and encouraging increased physical activity. Also, we’d like to thank and congratulate our Cohort 1 partners, who have been making outstanding progress in their communities through their innovative strategies in these same three critical health areas.”  

As one of the new communities selected for funding, Fargo and West Fargo will focus specifically on increasing access to healthy food and beverages and increasing access to physical activity in workplaces and childcare settings. “These funds will go a long way to help improve the health of people across Cass County,” said Carrie McLeod from Sanford Community Health and an American Heart Association volunteer. “We are proud to be a part of this national initiative and look forward to helping the American Heart Association promote healthy lifestyles in our community.”

These efforts are part of the American Heart Association’s mission to transform the way Americans eat, live, and play and to curb the prevalence of disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined and affecting families across the country every day. The factors leading to increased risk – tobacco use, physical inactivity and poor diet – must be addressed so more people can live longer, healthier, happier lives. By 2020, the American Heart Association wants to improve the overall cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent over the next decade.

For additional information on other markets also receiving funding, please visit

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