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Support for American Heart Association leads to century of bold progress

(NewMediaWire) - June 09, 2024 - DALLAS — On June 10, 1924, a small group of dedicated physicians gathered at The Drake Hotel in Chicago to establish the American Heart Association. At the time, heart disease was considered a death sentence, there was no treatment, no hope. These founders believed that better understanding of heart disease would lead to treatments and lives saved.

They were right. Now, 100 years later, the American Heart Association has grown from those humble beginnings to become the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. At nearly 40 million-strong, volunteers, donors, advocates, staff and other supporters from around the world are leading the Association’s mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.

“As we mark the American Heart Association’s centennial, we recognize monumental accomplishments in the fight against heart disease and stroke,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association. “Supported by efforts led by the Association, death rates from heart disease have been cut in half in the past 100 years. Deaths from stroke have been cut by a third since the creation of the American Stroke Association in 1998. Our historical timeline of the American Heart Association’s work highlights the accomplishments made since our founding, including spearheading groundbreaking research and advocacy initiatives to fight cardiovascular disease and pioneer life-saving interventions.”

The achievements of the American Heart Association over the past century have already resulted in more than $5.7 billion invested in cardiovascular scientific research – the largest investment outside of the federal government – made possible by the passion of community-based volunteers, donors and employees. Numerous top cardiovascular and cerebrovascular scientists throughout the world are linked with the American Heart Association as recipients of awards that recognize scientific excellence. Fifteen researchers funded by the Association have won Nobel Prizes, confirming that the American Heart Association is a leader in cardiovascular disease research.

“Reaching the Association’s bold goals is made possible because of like-minded individuals and organizations who share in the vision of better health,” said Marsha Jones, volunteer board chair of the American Heart Association. “Donors have pledged support of their time, talent and funds as Second Century campaign donors, providing the essential resources needed to sustain and expand the Association’s vital programs and initiatives such as Heart Walk, Go Red for Women® and Nation of Lifesavers. We are forever grateful for this support.”

The full list of Second Century donors can be viewed here.

"As heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death worldwide, we realize that our work is not yet finished," Jones said. "The American Heart Association is encouraging every individual, company, school and community to unite in transforming the future of health – not just for ourselves, but for our loved ones and the places we live, work and play. Today and every day, we have the opportunity to improve health and inspire hope for the future everyone deserves."

The Association will continue to lead breakthroughs in science and technology, improve health care and advocate for federal, state and local policies to drive healthier lifestyles.  

“As we close out our first 100 years and begin the next, our recent report on risk factor trends and economic projections show that our work is more important than ever," Brown said. "We understand that we can't achieve our bold goals alone and are deeply grateful to the community for their passion and commitment in supporting our mission. At the American Heart Association, our future is about improving yours.”

The Association is debuting “24 – a short film from the Heart” to commemorate the century of progress. View the film, learn more about accomplishments in the first 100 years of the American Heart Association and find how you can make a difference by participating in the Second Century campaign at


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 a century. During 2024 - our Centennial year - we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

For Media Inquiries: 214-706-1173

Suzanne Grant; 

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and