Mount Sinai Heart at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai was awarded a $3.8 million grant from the American Heart Association to advocate cardiovascular health to high-risk New York City children and their parents.

Mount Sinai is one of four institutions named an AHA Strategically Focused Prevention Research Network Center. It was given part of a $15 million grant, one of the largest AHA grants to date.

The money will support the AHA’s goal to reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke-related deaths by 20 percent by 2020.

About 600 children in participating New York City pre-schools and Head Start programs within Harlem and the Bronx, will join in the hospital’s projects paired with 1,000 of their parents or caregivers.

The first research project, led by Valentin Fuster, M.D., director of Mount Sinai Heart, Sameer Bansilal, M.D., M.S. and Rajesh Vedanthan, M.D., M.P.H., will study the effect of encouraging early childhood heart health education to 3-5 year olds. According to researchers, teaching heart-healthy habits to children and their families will solidify behaviors that reduce obesity and cardiovascular disease for generations.

The second project, led by Zahi A. Fayad, Ph.D., will focus on the findings of imaging technology and the promotion of health in parents and caregivers.

The third project, led by Eric Schadt, Ph.D., will examine the cross-generation genetic and genomic information of the children and their parents or caregivers. Researchers will look at how genes couple to increase someone’s risk for cardiovascular diseases and how it sways their lifestyle and behavior. They will also research about new kinds of prevention and treatments.

Additionally, the grant will support the work of three cardiovascular prevention fellows overseen by Roger Hajjar, MD.