Six community health mini-grant awardees announced

NC, June 13, 2023 — The American Heart Association, with support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), is pleased to announce six community health mini-grant awardees, totaling $45,000. These community organizations and companies will be working to improve heart health among those who are most at risk for cardiovascular disease, including stroke in North Carolina.

Mini-grant projects include focusing on access to food, gardening for nutrition security, nutrition education, access to care, hypertension awareness and management, maternal health disparities and social determinants of health. The mini-grants will benefit historically under-resourced neighborhoods, children from designated Title One schools, Black women, families, and Hispanic/Latino communities.

Community organizations in the Triangle (Wake, Durham, and Orange counties) and Charlotte (Mecklenburg, Gaston, and Union counties) were encouraged to apply for mini-grants ranging from $2,500 - $10,000 to support heart health policies and environments, and programs providing support for community health. The American Heart Association received 131 applications. The applications were vetted through the Association’s volunteer committees and evaluated on specific criteria meeting community needs in under-resourced populations. Grantees were asked to show how their applications would reach under-resourced communities and were linked to sustainable policy and systems changes.

“It is very exciting to continue our efforts with Blue Cross NC to address health equity issues in our communities and to offer community mini-grants to bolster existing programs or inspire new programs throughout North Carolina,” shared Shannon Emmanuel, vice president of health strategies for the American Heart Association, Southeast Region. “Together we are working to build sustainable change to improve the health of our communities.”  

“Blue Cross NC is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of all North Carolinians, especially members of communities in under-resourced areas,” said Cheryl Parquet, director of community engagement and marketing activation at Blue Cross NC. “We’re proud to work with partners to lead the charge in creating a healthier state and support organizations dedicated to advancing health equity.”

Community health mini-grant awardees include:

Charlotte: (Awarding $22,500)

  • TruSolace Counseling and Wellness Center:  Establishing a youth garden club with area school children; focusing on healthy eating options and establishing healthier life habits
  • Community Health Services of Union County: Providing support for patients who have hypertension. The funds help patients improve monitoring their blood pressure numbers and establishing managed care
  • Zealous Empowering Nurturer, Inc.:  Educating families on gardening techniques and utilizing produce to fight nutrition insecurity

Raleigh-Durham: (Awarding $22,500)

  • Alliance Medical Ministry (Raleigh): Supporting the clinic’s on-site farm and creating sustainable food security solutions
  • Healing with CAARE (Durham): Helping clinics partner with pregnant, Black women to self-monitor blood pressure, understand increased cardiovascular risk factors and know when to seek emergency treatment for pregnancy-related health complications
  • LATIN-19 (Triangle): Utilizing a mobile healthcare team to provide access to care with prevention education, high blood pressure and mental health resources

Since January 2020, the American Heart Association and Blue Cross NC have awarded over 65 community health mini-grants across North Carolina, totaling more than $300,000. Visit for more American Heart Association community impact stories.


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is committed to making health care better, simpler and more affordable. We have been driving better health in North Carolina since 1933, working to tackle our communities’ greatest health challenges. Blue Cross NC serves its customers and communities of more than 4.2 million members, including approximately 1.1 million on behalf of other Blue Plans. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

For Media Inquiries:

American Heart Association Contact:

Sarah Fedele:

Blue Cross NC Media Line: 919-765-3005

Blue Cross NC Online Newsroom:

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and

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