Basic Organization Information
American Heart Association, Inc.
- Also Known As:
- Physical Address:
- Web URL:
- NTEE Category:
G Disease, Disorders, Medical Disciplines
G43 Heart and Circulatory System
E Health—General & Rehabilitative
E03 Professional Societies & Associations
- Ruling Year:
The American Heart Association's mission is to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers. By the year 2020, our goal is to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.The American Heart Association, founded in 1924, is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To prevent, treat and ultimately defeat these diseases, we fund cutting-edge research, conduct lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocate to protect public health.
Diseases, Disorders & Medical Disciplines
- Population Served:
Operation Heartbeat-Chain of Survival Operation Heartbeat is a national, community-based initiative the American Heart Association has developed to improve the national sudden cardiac arrest survival rate. Of all people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside a hospital, only 5 percent survive. More than 600 Americans die every day from sudden cardiac arrest, amounting to a staggering annual death toll of 220,000. Operation Heartbeat focuses on a sequence of four actions that the American Heart Association calls the chain of survival, a proven method for improving sudden cardiac arrest survival. These actions include 1) Early Access, calling 9-1-1 to access Emergency Medical Services (EMS); 2) Early CPR; 3) Early Defibrillation; and 4) Early Advanced Care. Operation Heartbeat strengthens the chain of survival by mobilizing local communities and advocating that programs are implemented to strengthen each link of the chain. Operation Stroke is a community-based program of the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association – is implemented by a coalition of volunteer healthcare professionals (dispatchers, emergency transport drivers, paramedics, fire and police officers, emergency room physicians, nurses, neurologists, neurosurgeons and many others) and civic leaders. The goal of Operation Stroke is to reduce the number of people who die or become permanently disabled by stroke. The American Stroke Association is doing this by: increasing public awareness of stroke warning signs; increasing the healthcare community’s ability to transport stroke patients; increasing the number of stroke patients who arrive at the hospital in time to receive treatment; and providing access to appropriate acute care for stroke patients across America. Get With The Guidelines Get With The GuidelinesSM is a new hospital discharge program that will help reduce the risk of recurrent heart attacks and strokes in patients with coronary and other vascular diseases. The Get With The GuidelinesSM program works by mobilizing teams in acute-care hospitals to implement the American Heart Association’s secondary prevention guidelines for patients with coronary and other vascular diseases. The program advocates using quality-improvement measures such as care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders and measurement tools based on the secondary prevention guidelines, which are also endorsed by the American College of Cardiology. The guidelines address these risk factors: smoking, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, physical inactivity, obesity, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, alcohol and drug abuse. MyHeartWatch.org MyHeartWatch.org is a free online behavioral modification program that can help you lose weight, feel better, improve your health and reduce your risk for coronary heart disease and stroke. The MyHeartWatch.org interactive health management program can help, offering features such as Ask An Expert, Recipes, Health Planners including weight and nutrition calculators, exercise diaries and more. Visit this new free “caring community for preventing heart attack and stroke” at www.myheartwatch.org. Additional American Heart Association programs that help people reduce their cardiovascular and stroke risk includes: women and heart disease, cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart and stroke risk factors and warning signs, physical fitness, nutrition and CPR training for adults and school children. Special Events American Heart Walk The American Heart Walk is the premier fundraising event for the American Heart Association, with a goal to raise $75 million in the next year for cardiovascular disease and stroke research and educational programs. Over 650,000 walkers will participate non-competitively in more than 850 events nationally in the coming months. Walking distances vary, although a majority of the walk routes are between 3K and 5K. The American Heart Walk is a fun, heart-healthy activity that the whole family can enjoy, while raising critical funds for research and education. The American Heart Walk celebrates survivors and honors the memory of those inflicted by this country’s No.1 and No. 3 killers---heart disease and stroke. Train To End Stroke American Stroke Association’s Train To End Stroke Marathon Training Program and Fundraiser is for experienced and novice runners and walkers, and everyone in-between. Participants train for four months with an experienced coach to learn how to run or walk a full or half marathon, while raising funds for stroke education and research. It’s about reaching personal fitness milestones and becoming a champion for yourself and others who have experienced a stroke. Jump Rope For Heart Jump Rope For Heart teaches rope-jumping skills that are fun. It promotes the value of physical activity to students while they participate in a team or cooperative effort. The program increases understanding of the seriousness of heart disease and stroke and the lifelong health benefits of physical activity and a heart-healthy lifestyle. While teaching students to set and achieve goals, they discover that they can make a difference. Jump Rope For Heart builds character through the spirit of volunteerism and community service. Five million elementary school children in 20,000 schools nationwide participated last year in the Jump Rope For Heart program. Other American Heart Association special event programs include ‘black-tie’ galas held in local communities and Hoops for Heart, a program for junior high students that teaches basketball skills and how to live a heart-healthy life.
Program Long-Term Success:
Funded $133.5 million in cardiovascular research- bringing the American Heart Association's 10-year total research investment to over $1 billion.
Program Short-Term Success:
Program Success Monitored by:
Program Success Examples:
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Impact Summary from the Nonprofit
I promise that I will have an extraordinary impact on your life by empowering you and your loved ones to save lives, live healthier and enjoy more peace of mind about cardiovascular health.
Expert Reviews and Comments
Evidence of Impact
Experts have recommended the American Heart Association, which they claim is doing impactful policy advocacy work related to childhood obesity. Their partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is cited as evidence of their impact within the field. Their research and prevention efforts are also evidence of their impact, according to experts.
Experts say that the American Heart Association's strengths include their branding and marketing. The organization's unique approach of linking science with policy advocacy is also cited as a strength. Finally, the organization's reputation and track record were highlighted by one expert.
Areas for Improvement
Experts recommend that the American Heart Association improve the speed of its work, which they say is often too bureaucratic. Experts also say that the organization should improve its communications, among local and national staff members and collaborators.