Posts Tagged ‘research’

Advocate Spotlight! AHA President Dr. Gordon Tomaselli

Monday, September 12th, 2011

The American Heart Association’s new President, Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, is a champion advocate for research. Since beginning his term in July, he has worked to define necessary approaches to meet AHA’s mission to prevent heart disease and stroke and believes the association can lead the way in advocating for increased funding for biomedical research in order to discover new prevention and treatment techniques.

Dr. Tomaselli’s interests in cardiology and heart disease prevention began in 1985, when shortly after completing his residency at the University of California at San Francisco, he learned that his mother had gone into cardiac arrest. Thankfully, she survived, and the doctor became invested in the field, eventually rising to the Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Through his work at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Tomaselli has seen some of the most severe cases of heart disease and uses that as his motivation to continue AHA’s work toward promoting healthy lifestyles for all Americans. He shares his personal experiences to stress the importance of investing in research to find new preventative measures and treatments to our nation’s decision-makers too.

In addition to being a champion for research funding, Dr. Tomaselli believes it is essential to create a national coordinated plan to reduce the national daily recommended allowance of sodium to 1,500 milligrams and continue to promote the importance of increasing physical education in schools. By working to meet these ambitious goals, he believes advocates can truly make an impact in the advancement of cardiovascular medicine and give more Americans the necessary tools to create a heart-healthy life.

This summer, Dr. Tomaselli participated in a Washington, DC press event to discuss the challenges Americans face in living healthier lives. Listen to what he has to say about the need for individuals, communities and policymakers to share the responsibility for preventing heart disease.

Click here to watch American Heart Association President Dr. Gordon Tomaselli discuss the need for shared resposibility in preventing heart disease.

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AHA advocates urge Congress to support research, fight childhood obesity

Friday, April 15th, 2011

More than 300 American Heart Association advocates met with their representatives in Congress this week and urged them to appropriate $35 billion for the National Institutes of Health for the 2012 fiscal year, co-sponsor the Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act and support the Safe Routes to Schools program.

The FIT Kids Act would encourage quality physical education and activity during the school day, and the Safe Routes to Schools program promotes the development of walking and biking paths for schoolchildren.

Currently, NIH invests only 4 percent of its budget on heart research and a mere 1 percent on stroke research. “These funding levels are simply not enough to advance research and bring us closer to a cure,” said AHA President Ralph L. Sacco, M.D.

In addition to the action on Capitol Hill, over 12,000 emails were sent and nearly 200 phone calls were made by advocates across the country, who participated in the event virtually. Thanks to these active advocates, our message of prevention was delivered to 530 congressional offices!

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, (R-Ga.) and Rep. George Miller, (D-Calif.) received the association’s Congressional Public Service Awards for their leadership in the passage of the Child Nutrition Act- and four outstandig volunteers were awarded with the Association’s Advocate of the Year awards, including Dr. Stephen Cook (NY), Cindy Flynn (PA), Newt Williams (TN), and Abby Michaelsen (CA).

Star Jones of “The Celebrity Apprentice” also participated in the event sharing her journey of recovery from heart disease with fellow advocates and legislators alike.

For more information and event pictures, visit

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Therapies for Stroke Patients Protected Another Year

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Good news to report from Capitol Hill! On December 9th, Congress passed the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010, which will allow stroke patients on Medicare to continue to get the therapies they need for another year, without facing arbitrary caps on coverage.

Thank you so much to our advocates for their quick action to ensure Members of Congress knew that therapy must be protected for these 4.4 million patients!

The exceptions process that was extended puts the power in the hands of patients and their doctors to determine the amount of therapy needed to recover from their stroke, rather than having their care determined by a pre-set limit.

As we celebrate this victory, it is also critical to understand that we still have a fight ahead of us. This extension of the exceptions process will only last until December 31, 2011, so we will need your help to continue to push Congress to pass a permanent fix for the therapy caps issue.

Thank you, advocates, for standing-up for stroke patients- and congratulations on this important win!

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