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American Heart Association announces new national volunteer leaders for 2023-24

(NewMediaWire) - June 30, 2023 - DALLAS — The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, announced its volunteer board leadership for fiscal year 2023-24. Marsha E. Jones takes the helm as the new volunteer board chairperson and Joseph C. Wu, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA, serves as the new volunteer president of the organization. The Association’s new fiscal year, which begins July 1, will also usher in the centennial celebration of the Association’s founding in 1924. Jones and Wu are long-time volunteer leaders for the Association, having both served on numerous boards and committees at the local and national levels.

Jones is the former executive vice president and chief diversity officer for The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Pittsburgh. In this role, she led the development and implementation of strategies and programs that help further build and sustain a talented, diverse workforce and a culture of inclusion. Jones is a frequent national guest speaker, panelist and lecturer on the business case for diversity and the impact that inclusive cultures have on corporate innovation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lehman College, a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University and is a graduate of The Executive Leadership Development Program of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jones has blazed trails for Black women in the financial services industry and has received national and regional recognition for her professional achievements. She has been recognized by Savoy magazine as a Top Influential Woman in Corporate America and as one of the Most Powerful Women in Corporate Diversity by Black Enterprise magazine. In addition, Jones has been recognized by the New Pittsburgh Courier as one of 50 Women of Excellence, named one of the 25 Influential Women in Business by the Network Journal and received the 2021 Women of Influence award from the Pittsburgh Business Times.

“Ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to lead a long, healthy life is a cornerstone of the American Heart Association’s mission. The Association is a recognized leader in making health equity a priority across the globe and serves as a model for other businesses in building an award-winning, diverse and inclusive workforce,” Jones said. “I’m honored and excited to continue to use my expertise to expand these efforts as we head into the second century of our lifesaving work.”

Wu is the Association’s 87th volunteer president. A board-certified cardiologist and award-winning physician scientist, Wu is the director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and the Simon H. Stertzer, MD, Professor of Medicine and Radiology at Stanford School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from Yale and completed his medicine internship, residency and cardiology fellowship at the University of California-Los Angeles where he also obtained his Ph.D. in the school’s department of molecular and medical pharmacology.

Wu is a pioneer in medical research to develop regenerative stem cells that can be reprogrammed to become cardiomyocytes, the muscle cells that enable the heart to contract. His innovative work in the molecular and biological mechanisms of the human heart supports precision medicine for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Wu and his lab team are braving new frontiers in research science through work with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He leads a number of studies being conducted by astronauts on the International Space Station, Space X and other explorations aimed at learning more about how the human heart is impacted by space travel.

Wu’s groundbreaking work has been highly praised and recognized throughout his career. Not only has he received most of the American Heart Association’s most prominent research awards, he also received highest honors from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and in 2010, President Barack Obama presented him the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Wu is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors and the Academia Sinica of Taiwan (his native homeland). He is the author of more than 500 published scientific manuscripts and is among the top 0.1% most highly cited investigators in the world over the past five years (2018-2022). Among the achievements he is most proud of are the hundreds of young researchers he’s mentored, many of whom are now top scientists at various institutions throughout the world.

“I was honored to have some special mentors and people who supported me throughout the early years of my career, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. The American Heart Association is the largest non-governmental funder of research in the nation and has long had a special commitment to support scientists early in their careers, many of whom have gone on to make major breakthroughs in our fight against heart disease and stroke,” Wu said. “I am deeply honored to lead the organization’s science, policy, clinical and international agendas to take us into the next century of innovative, life-saving discoveries. These discoveries will make a real impact in helping everyone live longer, healthier lives, free from cardiovascular disease.”

“Marsha Jones and Dr. Joe Wu will bring exceptional leadership as our volunteer chairperson of the Board and President, during this monumental time in the organization’s history,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association. “With their expertise, insight and passionate commitment for forward-thinking innovation, we will continue to advance our work as a global force in improving the health and well-being of all people, reaching heights well beyond what our founders could have possibly dreamed a century ago.”

The American Heart Association’s new fiscal year runs July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public's health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.  


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