Our goal at the FAMILIA Project of Mount Sinai Heart at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is to promote cardiovascular health in our city’s tiniest hearts while reducing their chances of developing risk factors for heart disease throughout their lives.
The FAMILIA Project is our pioneering educational initiative providing early childhood heart-health intervention and education program for three- to five-year old preschoolers and their parents and caregivers. We focus on children attending participating New York City Head Start Centers in Harlem. We are enrolling 600 young children along with 600 of their caregivers.
This four-year project, launched in fall 2015, aims to reduce the epidemic of childhood obesity and better understand how the intersection of a child’s behavior, environment, and genetics may lead to heart disease, while refining our future prevention techniques. We want to reduce each child's future risk of obesity, heart attack, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes, by creating a family-based “culture” of health.
FAMILIA Intervention Programs include:
- Child Intervention
- Adult Intervention
- Peer Group Intervention
- Individual Intervention
In addition to directly helping children and their families, we are also conducting research. Over time, our investigators will measure the effects of the early childhood heart health education. Our ultimate hope is to instill heart-healthy habits in children and their parents and caregivers.
How We Began
In 2014, leading physician-scientist Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, and Mount Sinai Heart received an American Heart Association (AHA) $3.8 million grant for promoting cardiovascular health among children ages three to five and their caregivers within the high-risk communities of New York City. In addition, we were named one of four AHA Strategically Focused Prevention Research Network Center as part of this largest AHA grant ever awarded, totaling $15 million.
The FAMILIA Project in Harlem builds upon the success of Dr. Fuster’s similar programs in Bogota, Colombia, and throughout Spain. The AHA recognized Dr. Fuster's successful research findings as one of the top 10 research advances of 2013.
Members of the public, organizations, and companies can get involved with the FAMILIA Project of Mount Sinai Heart by volunteering their time or expertise. For further information please email us at FAMILIA@mssm.edu.
Department of Volunteer Services
The Mount Sinai Hospital
One Gustave L. Levy Place
New York, NY 10029