Despite the fact that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among Americans, it is largely preventable. To better educate Fairfield County residents about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, the Aetna Foundation recently awarded Family Centers a $10,000 grant to bring its Healthy Hearts Program to families and individuals living in area public housing communities.

Healthy Hearts is an initiative designed to encourage people to make simple lifestyle changes in an effort to reduce their risk of heart disease and obesity. Taught by trained professionals, the Healthy Hearts curriculum features interactive demonstrations and discussions touching on topics ranging from understanding cholesterol to exercise routines. Participants also learn how to read nutritional labels and cook meals that are both heart-healthy and tasty.

In order to reach as many Fairfield County residents as possible, Healthy Hearts is offered in community centers, housing complexes, senior centers and other public locations throughout Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan and Stamford. For more information, contact Marisol Rivera at 203-629-2822 or mrivera@familycenters.org.

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The Aetna Foundation, Inc. is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna, Inc. Since 1980, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed $394 million in grants and sponsorships, including $15.6 million in 2010. As a national health foundation, they promote wellness, health and access to high-quality health care for everyone. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who have volunteered more than 2.3 million hours since 2003.

Family Centers is a private, nonprofit organization offering education and human services to children, adults and families in Fairfield County.

More than 1,300 professionals and trained volunteers work together to provide a wide range of responsive, innovative programs. A United Way, Community Fund of Darien and New Canaan Community Foundation partner agency, Family Centers is a member of the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies and the Alliance for Children and Families and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The agency is licensed by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health. Visit www.familycenters.org for additional information.