NEW YORK, March 8, 2023Across New York City, the rate of heart disease in very high poverty neighborhoods is double the rate compared to low poverty neighborhoods with risk for heart disease or stroke linked to a person’s cumulative exposure to social, economic and physical environments[1]. The conditions in which we live explain in part why some people are healthier than others[2].

The American Heart Association, devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, is providing $500,000 in funding through its Social Impact Funds to New York Metro area entrepreneurs and organizations actively working to break down social and economic barriers to health equity.  

This round of funding is part of a multi-year commitment to the Association’s Social Impact Funds made by Liz Elting, Michael Burlant and the Elizabeth Elting Foundation which established the Elizabeth Elting Fund to prioritize support for women-led organizations and entrepreneurs from New York’s under-resourced communities.

“Where you live should not dictate how long or how well a person lives – but it does,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer for the American Heart Association. “In order to ensure every person has the same opportunity for a full, healthy life, the barriers that worsen economic, social and health inequities within vulnerable communities must be dismantled. We are one step closer thanks to funding from the Elizabeth Elting Foundation.”

Local businesses and organizations working to address economic empowerment, healthy food access, housing, recidivism, access to quality healthcare, transportation and educational opportunities are invited to submit formal expressions of interest to the American Heart Association before 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, April 21, 2023.

An informational virtual “town hall” will be held on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. ET. Community members will discuss local challenges and opportunities related to health equity across the New York Metro area with American Heart Association staff to ensure available funds are focused to address the greatest local needs. Register here to join the online discussion.

Applicants for the Social Impact Fund can be at any business stage and can be non-profit or for-profit social entrepreneurs. A governance committee comprised of key American Heart Association volunteers and staff executives review all investment recommendations looking for three key things – demonstrated ability to drive change in under-resourced communities, an organic connection to the community itself and an ability to scale for maximum health impact.

“For many entrepreneurs and startup organizations, a lack of access to immediate and substantial funding are barriers to success and growth,” said Liz Elting, longtime supporter of the American Heart Association and founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation. “This support will help bridge the divide for fellow entrepreneurs to overcome early business challenges and ultimately break down the economic and social barriers to health to help everyone live longer, healthier lives.”

Since its launch in 2018 and initial community investments in 2019, the American Heart Association’s Social Impact Funds including the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund and Elizabeth Elting Fund have invested in more than 100 local social enterprises across the country. Learn more about the American Heart Association Social Impact Funds here.


Additional Resources

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.  

For Media Inquiries:

Mark Hurley, 212-878-5932,

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

[1] NYC Health | Epi Data Brief (Nov. 2017)

[2] Magnan S. Social Determinants of Health 201 for Health Care: Plan, Do, Study, Act. NAM Perspect. 2021.