PHILADELPHIA, June 24, 2024 — About 80% of an individual’s modifiable health contributors are determined by social and economic factors.[1] Exposure to violence can have detrimental health implications contributing to toxic stress and trauma, mental health illness, substance abuse and an increased risk for heart disease[2].

The American Heart Association, which marked 100 years of service saving lives earlier this month, has distributed $480,000 from the Association’s Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund to four social enterprises in North Philadelphia.

  • PAR Recycle Works is a non-profit organization creating pathways to sustainable employment and stability for previously incarcerated people through skill development, education, transitional employment, re-entry support and permanent job placement. Employees gain soft skills and life skills which set the baseline for success in permanent employment.
  • PowerCorpsPHL (PCPHL), operating in Sharswood and Strawberry Mansion, is a non-profit organization that trains and connects un- and under-employed young adults to living wage jobs in renewable energy, green infrastructure and community-based careers. PCPHL specifically focuses upon young people most affected by the city’s gun violence epidemic and lack of opportunities.
  • Smart from the Start is a multi-generational family support organization with a mission to promote the healthy development of young children and families living in under-resourced communities. Smart’s approach challenges traditional social programming services by working with individual families to identify and address trauma and build upon protective factors.
  • Youth Art & Self-empowerment Project is a non-profit organization working to end the practice of incarcerating young people as adults and to apply a restorative justice process that creates opportunities for justice-impacted youth returning from incarceration.

The funding support is made possible by the 2021 gift from the Andréa W. and Kenneth C. Frazier Family Foundation and a recent multi-year gift from Ramona Rogers-Windsor and Thomas Windsor.

“Social and economic drivers of health are more important than many think. We are honored to help support the entrepreneurs and organizations working to improve health outcomes for under-resourced communities in North Philadelphia, a place close to our hearts,” said Andréa and Ken Frazier, longtime supporters for the American Heart Association, in a joint statement. “We have been fortunate to have the best care possible when illnesses such as stroke and cancer have affected us, so it is important for us to help others have better health resources. That starts with prevention and addressing social drivers of health holistically.”

Since its inception in June 2020, the Bernard J.Tyson Impact Fund, a key component of the American Heart Association’s Social Impact Funds, has supported social entrepreneurs and nonprofit organization in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Oakland, Calif., Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle. The fund honors the late Bernard J.Tyson, long-time American Heart Association national Board of Directors member and former Kaiser Permanente CEO. Tyson and his wife, Denise Bradley-Tyson, were and remain committed to broadening access to health care to support social justice and equitable health for all.

“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. “Through the American Heart Association’s commitment to address social drivers of health, communities in North Philadelphia will benefit from the creative solutions of these social enterprises who join our mission to ensure every person has the same opportunity for a full and healthy life.”

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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 a century. During 2024 – our Centennial year – we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact, our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.    

About the American Heart Association Social Impact Funds
The American Heart Association’s Social Impact Funds, including the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund, channel capital to small and medium-sized organizations that know their community best and whose ideas accelerate innovation to address local community and national health challenges. With a focus on improving health equity and expanding access to capital, the Funds support accessible, high quality health care, food security and economic empowerment. Since launching in 2018, the Funds have provided $21.5 million in financial support to more than 130 local enterprises to positively impact the well-being of nearly 5 million people. Learn more about our work at heart.org/socialimpactfund.

For Media Inquiries:

Trish Bradley, trish.bradley@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and stroke.org