(Des Moines, IA) -- The American Heart Association and the Helmsley Charitable Trust are announcing $9.3 million ion Helmsley grants to expand and enhance rural health and stroke care. $6.3 million will go toward Mission: Lifeline Stroke which focuses on connecting several components of acute stroke are.
The American Heart Association says stroke is a leading cause of death in Iowa, accounting for more than 1,400 deaths in 2020. Stroke is also the leading cause of disability.
The program builds on a previous effort, a $4.6 million grant from the Helmsley Foundation to launch Mission: Lifeline STEMI to reduce treatment times for acute cardiac care in cases of ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI), the most serious type of heart attack.
Mission: Lifeline Stroke aims to build on achievements by the existing Iowa Stroke Task Force, by further strengthening the collaboration with stakeholders across the state.
The Helmsley Charitable Trust is also granting $3 million to the American Heart Association to launch HeartCorps in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wyoming. HeartCorps is an initiative serving rural communities, which will be launched this fall. The goal of this three-year program is to encourage more health care workers, reduce cardiovascular risks among rural residents, and take steps to improve care. The Public Health AmeriCorps Program is a joint partnership between AmeriCorps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The funding will pay for 100 HeartCorps members in counties that rank among the least healthy in Iowa. The members will focus on improving cardiovascular health, including blood pressure awareness and control. AmeriCorps will provide $8.6 million or 63% of the cost of the project. The American Heart Association and the Helmsley Charitable Trust will provide the remaining $5.1 million for the project.