October Update from the MAA

Dear Friend of Heart:

It has been a very exciting month already in the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate. American Heart Association volunteer and funded researcher Robert Lefkowitz, M.D., the James B. Duke Professor of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, was named as a co-recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. A member of the association’s Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences, Dr. Lefkowitz received research funding from the association from 1973 to 1976 as a recipient of our Established Investigator Award. The research we funded is related to his Nobel Prize-winning work, the study of protein receptors that allow the body to sense and respond to internal and external signals such as danger or the flavor of food. Studies of this kind have been instrumental in the development of better drugs in many areas, but particularly for cardiovascular disease.

In 2009, Dr. Lefkowitz received the association’s prestigious Research Achievement Award at the Opening Plenary of Scientific Sessions, also for his studies of these receptors. Dr. Lefkowitz is the 13th AHA-funded researcher to win the Nobel Prize. Here is an article from the News and Observer with more details on Dr. Lefkowitz and this amazing accomplishment. The American Heart Association has funded major medical breakthroughs over the years, including the first artificial heart valve, implantable pacemakers, and techniques and standards for CPR. Learn about these and other research milestones.

In other news, a study published yesterday reports good progress on one of our Life’s Simple Seven measures (Cholesterol Levels Improve Significantly, USA Today article). The research report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that levels of total cholesterol and levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol have decreased in adults between 1988 and 2010. Most of the positive trends can be traced to lipid-lowering medications known as statins, as more people began to take advantage of the drugs. Similar declines in total cholesterol were seen among individuals not using lipid-lowering medications, which is encouraging for public health campaigns that emphasize diet and exercise. The authors also credit government efforts to cut trans fats out of American diets.

I’m also excited to share my priorities for the affiliate in this fiscal year:

  • Generating Revenue to Drive Mission  
    Raise $50,500,000 in Total Campaign
  • Maintaining and Growing Our Financial Health
    Financial viability measured by an increase in MAA net assets
  • Improving Cardiovascular Health and Saving Lives
    Passage of four state legislation regulations or significant local public policy victories that meet the Association’s desired 2010-13 State Public Priority outcome
    -Translate science into practice by having 225 Quality Achievement Awards reached by member hospitals 
    Train 1.2 million people in CPR
  • Driving to Our 2020 Impact Goal through Volunteer Engagement
    Increase the strength of our volunteer outcomes by having 100% of our chairs recruited by the relevant dates in our timelines

I’m looking forward to the difference we will make together driving toward these important goals and more this year. Thanks so much for your support of our mission, 


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