CHARLOTTE, NC-June 14, 2023 — The American Heart Association, with support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is proud to announce three community health mini-grant awards, totaling $22,500 in Greater Charlotte. These local mini-grants focus on hypertension management and nutrition security and will impact historically under-resourced communities and residents of all ages.

Awardees are:

  • TruSolace Counseling and Wellness Center:  Establishing a youth garden club with area school children; focusing on healthy eating options and healthier life habits
  • Community Health Services of Union County: Providing support for hypertensive patients in monitoring their blood pressure and establishing managed care
  • Zealous Empowering Nurturer, Inc.:  Educating families on gardening techniques and utilizing grown produce to increase nutrition security

“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 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 healthy 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.

Across North Carolina, a total of six community health mini-grants were awarded, totaling nearly $45,000, this year. Since January 2020, the American Heart Association  with support from Blue Cross NC have awarded over 65 community health mini-grants across North Carolina, totaling more than $300,000. For more information on our community impact visit


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, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

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