group of people holding hands and standing while looking directly at the camera

We must stand together

As dedicated volunteers, advocates, donors and staff, we’re standing together to advance cardiovascular health for all.

Greetings from our CEO and chairman of the board and president

We’re advancing health equity for all.

“Together, we built momentum toward our 2024 Impact Goal to advance cardiovascular health for all by identifying and removing barriers to health care access and quality. Behind every life changed were dedicated volunteers, donors and staff — the heartbeat of our mission.” — Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer
“This past year we boldly stood together with our global family of advocates and volunteers to champion change necessary to support patients, caregivers and communities around the world.” — Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScM, FAHA, President

Advocating for Systems Change

We know that cardiovascular disease causes 17 million deaths worldwide every year. That’s why we are standing up to the scourge of tobacco companies, bringing lifesaving research innovations to market and working relentlessly to give everyone the chance to eat healthier.


We must fight together.

Standing Up to Tobacco Companies

Flavored tobacco products contribute to higher rates of heart disease, stroke and other illnesses.

One hand holding out cigarettes to another hand which is palm out, deflecting, saying no

A Stanford and AHA report documented tobacco companies have intentionally marketed their deadly products to Black, Hispanic and young people. The results have been tragically effective: 85% of Black and 48% of Hispanic people who smoke use menthol. More than half of teenagers who start smoking begin with menthol. Flavored tobacco products contribute to higher rates of heart disease, stroke and other illnesses.

Through our Tobacco Endgame strategy, we’re determined to end this blight.

You’re the Cure buoyed the federal government’s proposed regulations to remove menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars from the market, with more than 4,100 online comments supporting the rules.


No Surprise Billing: Advocating for the No Surprises Act

“Thanks to the No Surprises Act, patients suffering from cardiac arrest, heart attack or stroke can now focus on their urgent medical needs and not have to worry about receiving a financially devastating surprise bill,” American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said.

Black man at kitchen table, head in hands, looking at bills and paperwork

After four years of dedicated work by our nationwide network of grassroots advocates, the No Surprises Act has taken effect, shielding people from unexpected bills and financial disaster.

Surprise medical billing occurs when a patient is billed directly for out-of-network medical care they thought their insurance would cover. These bills can amount to thousands of dollars.

“Thanks to the No Surprises Act, patients suffering from cardiac arrest, heart attack or stroke can now focus on their urgent medical needs and not have to worry about receiving a financially devastating surprise bill,” American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said.


Empowering Healthier Communities

We know that everyone should have the same opportunity to be healthy — but they don’t. We are improving health within a community with solutions from people within the community through our Social Impact Funds. We’re also advocating for laws and policies that help people access care, avoid tobacco and eat healthier. And we’re working to expand Medicaid in all states.


We must thrive together.

Investing in Communities

We stand beside communities nationwide as they rise to solve some of the most pressing issues of our time.

The Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund and the Social Impact Fund invest in local entrepreneurs committed to dissolving economic and social barriers to health equity. Our pioneering approach to these funds addresses access to health care, food insecurity and poverty. These investments are designed to sustain success; when business owners thrive, their communities get healthier.

Local farm addressing food insecurity

Atlanta Harvest has created an organic oasis in Ellenwood, Georgia. The family-owned nursery and farm just south of the city provide healthy produce at fair prices to people who aren’t used to either.

Food insecurity is a major roadblock to health equity. Atlanta Harvest is a path through. Farmers Raphaela Ysrael and EliYahu Ysrael say funding from the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund has been a big boost to their efforts – which are making a huge difference for the people in the community.

Standing Up for Healthy Policies

One important way we stand with our communities is by advocating for laws and policies that help people access care, avoid tobacco and eat healthier. This past year, powered by our network of advocates, we set an AHA record by passing or defending 190 policies. Our successes included:

Improving Care for All

We know that when science-based guidelines are used and followed in health care settings, it’s proven to assure quality, equitable care. We’ve added important insights to depersonalized patient data registries, which enable hospitals to better understand how social factors can impact health. We are also working to improve the health of residents in rural communities across the nation. And we updated Life’s Simple 7™ to Life’s Essential 8™ to include sleep as a crucial component to achieving ideal cardiovascular health.

We must survive together.

Working for Better Care in Rural Areas

People in rural communities face unique challenges, including long distances from health care and a shortage of health professionals. The result? Disproportionately high rates of heart disease and increased risk of early death.

But we’re not standing for those disparities.

26 states

Where our programs aim to help residents of rural communities live longer, healthier lives

100 pairs of boots

Community health service members deployed across the country as part of HeartCorps to improve health in rural areas

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$7.5 million

Part of our Mission: Lifeline Stroke initiative to ensure acute stroke care across Iowa is effective, comprehensive and seamless

The New Number for Heart Health

Based on more than a decade of fresh science, we revamped the components identified as crucial to achieving ideal cardiovascular health and added one: sleep.

Life's Essential 8 logo

Life’s Simple 7™ has become Life’s Essential 8™. Based on more than a decade of fresh science, we revamped the components identified as crucial to achieving ideal cardiovascular health and added one: sleep. The eight components can be divided between behaviors and health factors. Collectively, they represent a pathway to better health by reducing the risks of heart disease, stroke and other major problems, such as cancer and dementia.

Life’s Essential 8 also provides sharper tools to measure cardiovascular health. We’ve revised definitions and metrics, assessed it in the context of the life course and acknowledged the importance of social and economic factors.

All of this culminates in a 100-point measure of heart health available online.


Life's Essential 8™ — Your checklist for lifelong good health


Survivor Stories: Inspiring journeys of heart disease and stroke

Fueling Scientific Discoveries

We know that research saves and improves lives. That’s why we’ve funded Strategically Focused Research Networks, bringing researchers and institutions together to tackle critical health issues. We also invested in research teams studying COVID-19’s effects on heart and brain health. And we funded new research and support to reduce health inequities.


We must strive together.

Research Networks Delve Into Inequities

Science is the way we illuminate a future of longer, healthier lives. And Strategically Focused Research Networks are an important way to accomplish this critical goal. So far we’ve invested more than $250 million to establish 14 Strategically Focused Research Networks. The latest is:

The Science of Diversity in Clinical Trials

The SFRN on the Science of Diversity in Clinical Trials pursues how to ensure that people of different races and ethnicities are fully included in medical research.

Health worker preparing needle to inject in waiting patient, view of more patients waiting in line for their turn

Health Equity Research Networks

Health Equity Research Networks are another important way we delve into inequities. The Health Equity Research Network on Disparities in Maternal-Infant Health Outcomes examines the reasons Black and Indigenous women and women living in rural areas face disproportionate maternal complications.

View of just a woman's pregnant belly with her hands holding on gently

Disparities in Maternal-Infant Health Outcomes

We’ve put $20 million toward understanding how social and economic factors make some women more likely to experience pregnancy complications.

Research Funding Includes Investigating COVID-19

With your support, together we can stand with the dedicated researchers aiming to save and improve lives. As the largest not-for-profit funding source for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular research next to the federal government, this year we invested:

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$155 million

to fund 690 new projects

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$10 million+

in 11 research teams to study COVID-19’s effects on heart and brain health

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$61 million+

in new research and support to reduce health inequities, part of $115.4 million investment over the last two years as part of our 10 Commitments

Financial Highlights

These figures show the financial activities of the National Center, regions and all other components of the American Heart Association and its division, the American Stroke Association, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022.

Public Support and Other Revenue (in thousands)
Public Support and Other Revenue (in thousands)
Contributions $260,239 29.6%
Net Special Events $263,274 29.9% 
Bequests $95,880 10.9% 
Other Public Support $17,847 2.0% 
CPR Training Revenue $268,499 30.5% 
Other Revenue             ($25,090) -2.9% 
Total Income $880,649  

Download Financial Highlights (PDF)(link opens in new window)

Expenses (in thousands)
Expenses (in thousands)
Research $172,164 18.9% 
Public Health Education $262,646 28.8%
Professional Education and Training $253,499 27.8%
Community Services $63,909 7.0%
Management and General $70,291 7.7%
Fundraising $89,671 9.8%
Total Expenses $912,180  
 
Total Net Assets $1,112,207  

Download Financial Highlights (PDF)(link opens in new window)

Environmental, Social and Governance Report

Environmental, Social and Governance Report

The American Heart Association’s inaugural ESG report details efforts to ensure our organization is a relevant, responsible, ethical and transparent force for the health of our communities and our planet.

Read the full ESG Report(link opens in new window)


2021-22 National Board of Directors

Officers

  • Raymond P. Vara, Jr.
    Chairman of the Board
    Honolulu, HI
  • Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScM, FAHA
    President
    Chicago, IL
  • Marsha Jones
    Chairman-elect
    Port Saint Lucie, FL
  • Michelle Albert, MD, MPH, FAHA
    President-elect
    San Francisco, CA
  • Bertram L. Scott
    Immediate Past Chairman
    Charlotte, NC
  • Mitchell S. V. Elkind, MD, MS, FAHA
    Immediate Past President
    New York, NY
  • Lee Shapiro
    Treasurer
    Chicago, IL

Directors

  • Mary Ann Bauman, MD
    Seattle, WA
  • Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA
    Bayou La Batre, AL
  • Douglas S. Boyle
    Kiawah Island, SC
  • Keith Churchwell, MD, FAHA
    New Haven, CT
  • Shawn A. Dennis
    Middleton, WI
  • Linda Gooden
    Riva, MD
  • Tom Greco
    Raleigh, NC
  • Ron W. Haddock
    Dallas, TX
  • Robert A. Harrington, MD, FAHA
    Stanford, CA


  • Joseph Loscalzo, MD, PHD, FAHA
    Boston, MA
  • Cheryl Pegus, MD, MPH
    Las Vegas, NV
  • Ileana Piña, MD, FAHA
    Detroit, MI
  • James J. Postl
    Houston, TX
  • Marcella Roberts
    Birmingham, AL
  • Jorge Saucedo, MD, MBA, FAHA
    Milwaukee, WI
  • Lee Schwamm, MD, FAHA
    Boston, MA
  • Svati Shah, MD, MS, MHS, FAHA
    Durham, NC
  • John J. Warner, MD, FAHA
    Dallas, TX
  • Thomas Pina Windsor
    Philadelphia, PA