GE Foundation Commits $250,000 to Fight Cardiovascular Disease in Jacksonville

April 26, 2016  
GE Foundation announced a $250,000 grant to The AGAPE Community Health Center Network to launch the One Heart cardiovascular community outreach program to screen 10,000 Jacksonville residents for cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.

GE Foundation announced a $250,000 grant to The AGAPE Community Health Center Network to launch the One Heart cardiovascular community outreach program to screen 10,000 Jacksonville residents for cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions over the next two years.  One Heart, a partnership between AGAPE, the Florida Department of Health in Duval County, and Florida A&M University, will host large-scale screenings and events at community-based organizations, primarily in Jacksonville’s urban core known as Health Zone 1 - an underserved community largely at-risk for chronic conditions and where more than 30% of deaths are attributed to cardiovascular disease. 

Mayor Lenny Curry said, ”GE’s presence in our community adds tremendous economic value to our city. This grant from GE Foundation demonstrates their investment in lives and shared commitment to our efforts to improve the health and well-being of Jacksonville citizens.”

In addition to the two-year screening commitment, One Heart will also provide health education for residents and connect residents to the care they need through community health centers and other community-based organizations.  Community health workers and Florida A&M University’s College of Pharmacy students will help conduct the screenings.

AGAPE Community Health Center Network Interim Executive Director, Mia Jones said, “As a community, we can address the issues that increase our risk of cardiovascular disease now, or we can suffer the costly impacts of poor health down the road. This initiative is an example of how communities can partner to address health disparities and improve the quality of life for everyone.”

Cardiovascular health is the most pressing public health challenge in Duval County and disproportionately affects underserved communities.  Heart disease and stroke remain the leading causes of death and disability.  The need is greatest in Health Zone 1, where according to the Florida Department of Health in Duval County, the population is comprised of 72% ethnic minorities, half of all residents under the age of 18 live in poverty, 66% of adults are overweight or obese, and less than 16% of the population has post-secondary education.  A third of all deaths among African Americans in Jacksonville are attributed to cardiovascular disease and diabetes, a rate nearly 20% higher than non-Hispanic Whites.

Deborah Elam, GE Foundation President & Chief Diversity Officer said, “The GE Foundation is proud to help Jacksonville’s most underserved residents get screened for cardiovascular disease, allowing them to gain access to care that is often out of reach. We know this simple intervention will save lives.  The One Heart initiative will help give those who are most vulnerable a chance to lead healthier lives.”

One Heart is funded as part of GE Foundation’s Developing HealthTM initiative, which aims to deliver better health to more people.   Developing HealthTMprograms work to increase access to primary care for underserved populations through partnerships with independent, non-profit community health centers.

This grant adds to GE’s existing investment in Jacksonville.  GE has 1,300 employees and operations across various business units in Jacksonville, including a GE Aviation facility that produces components and a recently opened $75 million GE Oil & Gas advanced manufacturing facility in the city’s west side.  The GE Oil & Gas site opened in 2015 and is now incorporating software-defined machines, enhanced testing capability and Research & Development (R&D) space to foster the innovation of oil and gas products.

About AGAPE:

The AGAPE Community Health Center Network is a non-profit organization that collaborates with public health agencies and non-governmental organizations to enhance the health of the uninsured, underinsured, and medically underserved populations throughout Jacksonville.

About GE Foundation:

GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of GE, is committed to building a world that works better. We empower people by helping them build the skills they need to succeed in a global economy. We equip communities with the technology and capacity to improve access to better health and education. We elevate ideas that are tackling the world's toughest challenges to advance economic development and improve lives. The GE Foundation is powered by the generosity and talent of our employees, who have a strong commitment to their communities. We are at work, making the world work better. Follow the GE Foundation at and on Twitter at @GE_Foundation.