AHA President John J. Warner Info/Multimedia Assets

January 01, 2018
John J. Warner M.D.


Dr. John Warner, President of the American Heart Association, Vice President and CEO of UT Southwestern University Hospitals, and Professor of Internal Medicine in Cardiology, suffered a cardiac event on November 13th during the American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions in Anaheim, California.  Below is information and multimedia assets for media use in sharing his story and helping educate Americans about how to lower their risks for heart disease. 


American Heart Association News Story:  Scrambling to restart a stopped heart  — when the patient is the president of the American Heart Association

Note:  American Heart Association News is an online health and science news service specializing in cardiovascular health, including heart disease, stroke and healthy living.  Stories, videos and graphics using the American Heart Association News byline appear on Heart.org and are available for reuse, at no cost, as long as American Heart Association News is credited. (See other requirements and details on how to obtain this content for reuse here.)

Downloadable Photos: Dr. Warner, various family/work photos.

Downloadable HD Video Album: (various b-roll and soundbites)

Downloadable HD mp4 Soundbites (see album link above):

Warner in his own words (15 secs): “I'm Dr. John Warner, I'm the President of the American Heart Association and I'm a interventional cardiologist and I serve as the Chief Executive Officer of UT Southwestern's University Hospitals in Dallas, Texas. I gave my presidential address, which is a big event for the President of the American Heart Association and the following morning I had sudden cardiac arrest in my hotel room and was resuscitated by my family and by some healthcare providers staying in the room right down the hall from me."

Warner thanks rescuers (46 secs): "I am so thankful that Tia and Jayne were next door and were able to resuscitate me and to save my life. And that without them, I wouldn't be having the Christmas with my family that I'm having this week. Seconds and minutes are everything. So the sooner you get care, the better you're gonna do.  And my story is illustrative of that. I mean. It's so important for people to understand what to do, to know CPR, to have the confidence and the ability to do it immediately. If I had not been attended to as quickly with the knowledge that the providers had and the hotel staff, my own family, I wouldn't be here today. So that commitment to take a few minutes to learn CPR, to learn what to do in these situations can have a huge impact on someone's life just like it did for mine."

Rescuer, Janie Garza, Registered Nurse, Pediatric Cardiovascular Research Coordinator, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Medical City Children’s Hospital, Dallas, Texas (22 secs): "As a pediatric critical care nurse, we often are in emergency situations, but never did you expect it then you're at a conference, you're relaxing, maybe you're gonna sleep an extra hour, and, you get woken up. And so I didn't expect to do it that morning, but it was necessary. And, we just jumped in and did what we had to do to protect John."

Rescuer, Tia Raymond, M.D., pediatric cardiologist at Medical City Children’s Hospital, Dallas, Texas (40 secs): "My name is Tia Raymond, and I'm a pediatric cardiac intensive care physician. So on that Monday morning, we were awoken by the sounds of screams in the hallway that somebody needed a physician. And so myself and Janie, who is nurse that I work with at the hospital, woke up and went down the hall where we found Dr. John Warner, who was in full cardiac arrest, and we performed CPR and applied a AED and shocked him out of a pulseless rhythm with the machine twice. And we were able to resuscitate him and get a pulse back and get him safely transported to the hospital."

Jacob Warner (son) (37 secs): "What I realize and what I feel about the whole episode is that an emergency is an incredible opportunity.  You owe it to yourself and you owe it to the people around you to understand, to know CPR. You owe it to yourself to kind of think, okay, in general, what would I do if there is some kind of cardiac episode that happens, you know? So, when it does happen, you can be calm and you can be effective and that's what enabled the two of you to really save his life. And, I'm incredibly grateful for that and I want it to go right, I want it to go well for other people as well."

Rose Marie Robertson, M.D., Chief Science Officer, American Heart Association (32 secs): "You know, the American Heart Association has been working for decades to make sure  that if someone has a cardiac arrest, we have the education for families and for bystanders who may not know the patient or hospital personnel to be able to do CPR, prolong the period of time that someone who needs defibrillation can get it, to give us a little more time to make that happen because that really gives people the best chance."

Scientific Sessions 2017 Opening Session soundbites and b-roll:

  • Warner at Opening Session talking about his family tree and CVD (15 secs) Transcript: "After my son was born and we were introducing him to his extended family, I realized something very disturbing: There were no old men on either side of my family. None. All the branches of our family tree cut short by cardiovascular disease.”    copyright American Heart Association
  • Warner at Opening Session talking about family and CVD (44 secs) Transcript: “Earlier in my talk, I told you there were no old men in my family. I know this is also true in far too many other families, not just in the U.S., but around the world. I believe the people in this room have the power – and even the duty – to change that. Together, we can make sure old men and old women are regulars at family reunions. … In other words, I look forward to a future where people have the exact opposite experience of my family, that children grow up surrounded by so many healthy, beloved, elderly relatives that they couldn’t imagine life any other way.”  copyright American Heart Association

Additional American Heart Association Resources:

  • Cardiac arrest is the abrupt loss of heart function in a person who may or may not have diagnosed heart disease. The time and mode of death are unexpected. It occurs instantly or shortly after symptoms appear.
  • Each year, more than 350,000 emergency medical services-assessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. 
  • While a heart attack may cause cardiac arrest and sudden death, the terms don't mean the same thing. Heart attacks are caused by a blockage that stops blood flow to the heart. A heart attack (or myocardial infarction) refers to death of heart muscle tissue due to the loss of blood supply, not necessarily resulting in the death of the heart attack victim.

Download Cardiac Arrest vs. Heart Attack (PDF opens new window)

View a text version of Cardiac Arrest vs. Heart Attack Infographic

Cardiac Arrest vs. Heart Attack

Additional links:

CPR Facts and Stats | heart.org/Handsonlycpr | American Heart Association | American Stroke Association  

Media Contact for John J. Warner, M.D. 

Russell Rian; Director of Public Relations; UT Southwestern Medical Center

Phone: 214-648-3404; Russell.Rian@UTSouthwestern.edu