AstraZeneca, United Way of Delaware Kick Off Statewide Youth Health Initiative

January 20, 2012 - WILMINGTON, Del. - AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) and United Way of Delaware today launched a $3.4 million youth health initiative to encourage young people in Delaware to make healthy choices, maintain good health and succeed in school.

The multi-year partnership – “Young Health Program: IM40” – is aimed at 12- to 15-year-olds who live in high-need neighborhoods in each of Delaware’s three counties. While the initiative will begin in the east side of Wilmington, the north ring of Dover and the Seaford-Bridgeville communities, it will be expanded to many communities throughout the state in coming years.

“We want to give Delaware’s children the support they need to be strong, confident and healthy as they grow up in often challenging environments,” said Marion McCourt, Chief Operating Officer, AstraZeneca US. “By focusing on individual assets in individual children, we will be able to make a meaningful difference in their lives, their communities and the state as a whole.”

Rooted in the 40 Developmental Asset approach pioneered by the Search Institute and endorsed by Johns Hopkins University, “Young Health Program: IM40” will seek to increase the inventory of an adolescent’s assets – common sense, positive experiences and qualities that relate to such things as support, boundaries, values and commitment to learning. These assets include:

  • Asset No. 1 – Family Support: Family life provides a high level of love and support.
  • Asset No. 3 – Other Adult Relationships: Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.
  • Asset No. 29 – Honesty: Young person “tells the truth even when it is not easy.”
  • Asset No. 40 – Positive View of the Future: Young person is optimistic about his or her personal future.

For a full list of the 40 Developmental Assets, go to

“Because of the size of our state and the amazing commitment of our corporate neighbors like AstraZeneca, we believed that we have a truly unique opportunity to work together and affect positive changes in our community,” said Michelle Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Delaware. “Our goal is to make the 40 Assets a part of the vocabulary and daily lives of every child and parent in Delaware. We truly believe that each of us can have a tremendous impact – one asset, one child at a time.”

According to Search Institute, 61 percent of young people surveyed with fewer than ten assets said they engaged in three or more acts of violence or threatening physical harm in the past year, compared to only 4 percent of young people with between thirty and forty assets.
Conversely and more importantly to these efforts, the more assets a child has, the more likely he or she is to make healthy choices, engage in positive behaviors and activities, maintain good health and succeed in school.
For example, Search Institute also found that only 29 percent of students surveyed with up to ten assets reported taking good care of their bodies by eating healthy foods and exercising regularly, as compared to 91 percent of students surveyed with thirty to forty assets.

United Way of Delaware is administering the program, and will be working with schools, community centers and social service agencies to help integrate the 40 asset approach into their own work with young people.

About United Way of Delaware:

United Way of Delaware’s mission is to maximize the community’s resources to improve the quality of life for all Delawareans. UWD is implementing Live United 2015, a five-year strategy to achieve long-lasting, measurable improvements throughout the state in the areas of Education, Income and Health. UWD works collaboratively with business, labor, government, nonprofit organizations, academic groups, faith groups, community organizations, concerned citizens and others to affect positive, long-lasting solutions. For more information, to make a contribution or to volunteer, please visit or call (302) 573-3700.

About Astrazeneca:

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information about AstraZeneca in the U.S. or our AZ&Me™ Prescription Savings programs, please visit: or call 1-800-AZandMe (292-6363).

The AstraZeneca Young Health Program is AstraZeneca’s global community investment initiative that is about helping young people in need around the world to deal with the health problems they face and improve their chances for a better life in the future. The program is a partnership between AstraZeneca, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Plan International, a leading global children’s charity. For more information, please visit: