Mission: Building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
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Who We Are
The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Founded in 1924, our organization now includes more than 30 million volunteers and supporters. We fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide critical tools and information to save and improve lives. Our nationwide organization includes more than 150 local offices and nearly 3,400 employees.
What We Do
To improve the lives of all Americans, we provide public health education and solutions in a variety of ways.
We help people understand the importance of healthy lifestyle choices. We provide science-based treatment guidelines to healthcare professionals to help them provide quality care to their patients. We guide and support quality improvement initiatives in hospitals and practices, facilitating these optimal levels of care. We’re the nation’s leader in CPR education and training. We educate lawmakers, policymakers and the public as we advocate for changes to protect and improve the health of our communities. Our volunteer experts select the scientific research and researchers most worthy of funding — with great results.
We have invested $3.9 billion in cardiovascular research, more than any organization outside the federal government. We have funded 13 Nobel Prize winners and many lifesaving research advances such as the first artificial heart valve, cholesterol-lowering drugs, heart transplantation, and CPR techniques and guidelines.
Why We’re Needed
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the world. Stroke ranks second globally and is a leading cause of severe disability. Too many families are losing loved ones of all ages. Each year, these diseases kill more than 800,000 Americans. Some form of cardiovascular disease affects more than one in every three adult Americans. Many suffer terribly from disabilities caused by these diseases.
The American Heart Association wants everyone to understand the threat — and to know that cardiovascular diseases and stroke are largely preventable. Risks can be lowered by adhering to what we call Life’s Simple 7: not smoking, being physically active, maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a healthy diet, controlling blood pressure, controlling cholesterol and controlling blood sugar.
Our 2020 Goal
Our 2020 Impact Goal is to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent, while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent, all by the year 2020.
Before the American Heart Association existed, people with heart disease were considered to be doomed to complete bed rest – or worse. But a handful of pioneering physicians and social workers believed it didn’t have to be that way. They conducted studies to learn more about heart disease, eventually leading to the founding of the American Heart Association in 1924.
“We were living in a time of almost unbelievable ignorance about heart disease,” said Paul Dudley White, one of six cardiologists who founded the organization.
The early American Heart Association enlisted help from hundreds, then thousands, of physicians and scientists. The association reorganized in 1948, transforming from a scientific society to a voluntary health organization composed of both science and lay volunteers and supported by professional staff. Since then, the American Heart Association has grown rapidly in size and influence – nationally and internationally.
In 1975, the headquarters moved from New York City to Dallas to be more centrally located. Volunteer-led affiliates formed a national network of local organizations providing research funding, education, community programs and fundraising.
In the 1980s, the association became a much more visible champion of public health, starting advocacy efforts that remain active today locally across America in all 50 states and in Washington D.C. Large gifts allowed the association to support new research projects and education programs, including more efforts to address heart disease and stroke in women and minorities.
The 1990s were a time of great change. In 1997, the confederation of separately incorporated affiliates merged into a single corporation. That year, the American Heart Association also created the American Stroke Association and another division dedicated to CPR training and other emergency cardiac care.
Our scientific findings began to move from laboratories and clinics to physician’s offices and American households. The association took positions on important health issues. And despite strong opposition from the tobacco industry, the American Heart Association continued to advocate for the public, especially children.
By 2000, the American Heart Association had established its first 10-year Impact Goal for the entire nation: to reduce coronary heart disease, stroke and risk factors by 25 percent by 2010.
The goals for reducing deaths were exceeded. However, with national trends such as increasing obesity and sedentary lifestyles, it was evident we still had much more work to reduce risks. And that drove the association to set an aggressive 2020 Impact Goal for the nation: To improve the cardiovascular health of the entire nation by 20 percent by 2020, while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.
Today, the American Heart Association works toward that goal in a multitude of ways, as the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization devoted to fighting heart disease and stroke.
The association is a leader in public health education and science. We are focused on science and research, healthy living and environments, treatment and education and emergency and hospital care. We provide CPR training to more than 18 million people a year in 80 countries. Our conferences and our journals provide critical knowledge to thousands of healthcare professionals. Our professional membership includes more than 32,500 members representing 114 countries and 74 specialties. We are helping to build a culture of health where the healthy choice is the easy choice, working with individuals, schools, lawmakers, healthcare providers, employers and others to ensure everyone has access to healthier lifestyle choices and proper health care.
The association continues to be true to its scientific roots, funding more cardiovascular research than any U.S. organization aside from the government. We have funded 13 Nobel Prize winners and numerous scientific breakthroughs. The new knowledge and advances that result from our research benefit millions of lives in every corner of the U.S. and around the world. The research findings made possible by the AHA are translated into guidelines which give healthcare providers the medical advancements and knowledge they need to most effectively treat cardiovascular and cerebrovascular illnesses. The association is committed to innovative, transformational, global thinking and approaches in its mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
If you have talent and passion, and want to do work that saves and improves the lives of millions, we invite you to explore the many careers available to you at the American Heart Association. Our culture will move you to make a difference.
Our mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and bringing together many voices is key. We embrace diversity in race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, marital status, national origin, disability, and veteran status.
To Build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. That single purpose drives all we do. The need for our work is beyond question.
I have been working at American Heart Association full-time (More than 5 years)
I have been with the American Heart Association for a decade now and what invigorates me to come to work every day is the fact that what I do ultimately contributes towards helping people live healthier and longer. As an employee of this organization, I am passionate about making an extraordinary impact by creating a brighter future where no one dies of cardiac arrest. Our mission of saving lives is not just a cliché that we say. It is embedded in the core of our hearts and is what drives us in everything we do.
I can't think of any right now. I believe that AHA is very competitive and consistently strives to be one of the top employers both in the profit and non-profit world.
Advice to Management
I love the fact that the top executives of the AHA walk the talk of our mission each and every day and demonstrates consistently our core values. I would love to see the same commitment and passion in every member/level of management, holding them accountable to lead by example and reflect the same values.
I applied online. I interviewed at American Heart Association.
Responded to posting: phone screen, video questioning session, face-to-face interview with behavioral questions, a conference call interview with a problem to resolve and behavioral questions. Professional and well run meetings; very friendly people.