Since its launch in June 2020, the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund has supported 30 social entrepreneurs and nonprofits in Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Oakland, Calif., Chicago, Atlanta and Seattle. 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.
The AHA’s impact investments complement the lifesaving work AHA has been doing for nearly 100 years by addressing the non-medical, social and economic factors that cause many people to develop heart disease and live shorter, unhealthier lives.
Throughout the country, AHA’s Impact Funds are primarily focused on three main Social Determinants of Health:
- Access to Health & Healthcare
- Food Security
- Economic Resilience / Poverty Reduction
Through the first grant funding cycle in Philadelphia, which was initiated by a $1 million donation by the Andréa W. and Kenneth C. Frazier Family Foundation, the AHA was able to fund the work of the following North Philadelphia organizations who are supporting the health and wellbeing of their communities:
Maternity Care Coalition is improving the health and well-being of pregnant women and parenting families, plus enhancing school readiness for children. They focus on areas with high rates of poverty, infant mortality, and health disparities. Their innovative workforce development program trains low-income community members to be perinatal community health workers who offer doula and other support for families during the pre- and postpartum periods. Through AHA funding, MCC has:
- Trained 33 un/under-employed Philadelphians to become Perinatal Community Health Workers, 74% of which are from North Philly (including 44% from Sharswood, Stanton, Nicetown/Tioga, and Strawberry Mansion).
- Increased graduate income by $2,700 on average, with potential to increase further with ongoing professional development workshops and coaching.
- MCC health worker program acts as a springboard for graduates into private practice or higher paying health professions. Approximately two thirds of graduates have either advanced the careers in health or are obtaining additional education to do so.
- Supported 105 underserved families in North Philadelphia who have received culturally-connected, community-based perinatal health services, with a 92% satisfaction rate. A total of 256 families served across Philadelphia
Oshun Family Center provides racially concordant care to members of the Black community that are struggling to cope with life transitions. Especially those impacted by postpartum mood changes, birth, and racial trauma. Their goal is to center the experiences of Black people and create a welcoming space for healing and refuge. Through AHA funding, Oshun Family Center has:
- Considerably increased organizational sustainability by generating roughly $90K in earned revenue during the first 9 months of the grant period.
- Provided 152 Black Philadelphians with racially concordant mental health care. Within 3 months, 80% of clients reported a reduction in depressive symptoms.
- Awarded a multi-year research grant for study on Black Maternal Heart Health in N. Philly, in partnership the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.
Ride Health, an app based health solution, partners with healthcare organizations and transportation providers to provide reliable transportation to appointments, manage transportation benefits, strengthen enterprise transportation programs, and improve access to care and social services for under resourced populations. Through AHA funding, Ride Health has:
- Actively provided transportation services to roughly 1,000 high risk, low-income patients in North and West Philadelphia monthly, through partnerships with Einstein Medical Center, PennMedicine, and Tower Health.
- Contracted with Temple Health to implement its non-emergency transportation services for patients in North Philadelphia.
Viora Health uses technology to improve patient access to care and experience for programs that reduce disease progression in order to improve outcomes and reduce episodic costs. Their team has 50+ years of experience in business, medicine, biostatistics, public health, data science and engineering. Through AHA funding, Viora Health has:
- Conducted market research with 27 clinics and community-based organizations to refine product delivery, content, and messaging.
- Launched a pilot in North Philly to address the social determinant of health needs and improve treatment plan adherence for 50 North Philly patients.
- Demonstrated a return on investment to justify additional revenue streams with health plans, which is creating the potential for scale across a larger patient population.
- Received additional funding ($256K) from the National Institute of Health’s Minority Health and Health Disparities to engage minority populations and create efficiencies using technology.
- Won Johnson & Johnson’s Health Equity Innovation Challenge and was featured in the Philly Inquirer for its work in North and West Philly: https://www.inquirer.com/health/viora-philadelphia-health-disparities-barriers-treatment-20211118.html
American Heart Associations Senior Communications Director for Philadelphia and Delaware. Seeking to promote a healthy lifestyle, preventative care, and access to care in Philadelphia.