American Heart Association honors top volunteers at annual awards luncheon

July 02, 2012 Categories: Heart News, Program News
DALLAS, July 2, 2012 – The American Heart Association honored several leading volunteers at its annual Awards Luncheon in Dallas on June 27.
The Award of Meritorious Achievement was presented to Mr. and Mrs. Loren and Debra Hiratzka, Ross Dress For Less, Walgreens, and James Weyhenmeyer, Ph.D. The award recognizes significant accomplishments or projects that affect the association at a national level.
The Hiratzkas were recognized for creating Honored Guest Day, which allows current and potential donors to meet with association-funded scientific researchers during the organization’s annual meeting, Scientific Sessions. Loren Hiratzka, M.D., FAHA, is medical director of cardiac surgery for TriHealth, Inc., in Cincinnati. Debra is a clinical database manager for Cincinnati’s Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgeons, Inc.
Ross Dress For Less was recognized for its in-store “Paper Heart” campaign, which has raised more than $14 million for the association since its launch a decade ago. Ross is also an American Heart Association “Fit-Friendly Company,” a recognition program for workplaces that promote healthy lifestyles among employees.
Walgreens was recognized for multiple in-store campaigns that have raised more than $14 million on behalf of the association, as well as the leadership of executives, including CEO Greg Wasson, at the Chicago Heart Ball.
Weyhenmeyer, vice president for research and economic development at Georgia State University in Atlanta, was recognized for his chairmanship of the association’s Vision for Volunteerism Oversight Group, which has been instrumental in enhancing the organization’s volunteer base.
The Louis B. Russell, Jr. Memorial Award was presented to Sandra E. Burke, Ph.D., FAHA. The award recognizes an individual who has rendered outstanding service to minority and underserved populations. Burke, now retired and formerly director of cardiovascular biology research at Abbott Laboratories, was honored for reaching minorities and women in Chicago, including as a leader with the association’s Power To End Stroke and Go Red For Women initiatives.  
The Healthcare Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Suzanne Hughes, R.N., M.S.N., FAHA. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to or achievements in cardiovascular disease and/or stroke patient care or improvements in the quality of healthcare delivery. Hughes, clinical education project director at the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association in Hudson, Ohio, was honored for contributing to the association for nearly three decades as a spokesperson and educator, as a fellow of the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing, and as the first woman to serve as president of the association’s Akron board.
The Physician of the Year Award was presented to Mary Ann Bauman, M.D. The award is presented annually to a practicing physician who has rendered outstanding contributions to the accomplishment of the AHA’s mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
Bauman, medical director for Women’s Health and Community Relations at INTEGRIS Health, Inc., in Oklahoma City, was honored for her commitment to educating patients about cardiovascular disease risk and her service in multiple leadership roles, including as president of the association’s SouthWest Affiliate.
The Ron Haddock AHA/ASA International Impact Award was presented to Vinay Nadkarni, M.D., FAHA. The award recognizes important service in support of the association’s international programs. Nadkarni, medical director of the Center for Simulation, Advanced Education and Innovation at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, was honored for his leadership of the association’s international initiatives in emergency cardiovascular care. Nadkarni co-chaired the association’s 2005 International Consensus Conference on Emergency Cardiovascular Care and Resuscitation Science, and is a past chairperson of the association’s Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.orgor call any of our offices around the country.
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Carrie Thacker – (214) 706-1665;