American Heart Association honors top volunteers at annual awards luncheon

July 01, 2013 Categories: Heart News

DALLAS, July 1, 2013 – The American Heart Association honored several leading volunteers at its annual Awards Luncheon in Dallas on June 26.

The Award of Meritorious Achievement was presented to Coletta Barrett, R.N., FACHE, FAHA; Kenneth Bloch, M.D., FAHA; Eric Peterson, M.D., M.P.H., FAHA; and the members of the association’s initial Stroke Nursing Task Force formed in 2000. The award recognizes significant accomplishments or projects that affect the association at a national level.

Barrett was recognized for her service as chairperson of the association’s Corporate Relations Review Committee from 2010 to 2013. Barrett, the association’s chairman of the board in 2003-04, is vice president of mission at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, La.

Bloch was recognized for his multiple leadership roles with the association’s research program, including service as chairperson of the organization’s Research Committee from 2009-11. Bloch is the William T. G. Morton professor of anesthesia and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and also a physician and biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Peterson was recognized for his leadership of the association’s Heart360 online health program and the Check It, Change It initiative to improve blood pressure control. Peterson is director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute and professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

The members of the association’s initial Stroke Nursing Task Force are Barbara Fletcher, R.N., M.N., FAHA; Debbie Summers, M.S.N., R.N., ACNS-BC, CNRN, FAHA; Tamilyn Bakas, Ph.D., R.N., FAHA, FAAN; Nanette H. Hock, R.N., M.S.N., CCRP; Patricia C. Clark, Ph.D., R.N., FAHA, FAAN; Anne D. Leonard, R.N., B.S.N., M.P.H., FAHA; Jo Simpson, R.N., M.S.N., CNRN; Judith Spilker, R.N., B.S.N.; and Deidre Wentworth, M.S.N., R.N. They were honored for their work to increase the participation of nurses in the association’s stroke-related activities and for creating guidelines and other resources for stroke nurses.

The Louis B. Russell, Jr. Memorial Award was presented to Shonta Chambers, M.S.W. The award recognizes an individual who has rendered outstanding service to minority and underserved populations. Chambers, director of the Office of Prevention and Wellness for the Georgia Department of Public Health in Atlanta, was honored for her highly effective efforts to expand the association’s outreach in minority communities in Georgia and increase diversity on local AHA boards and committees.

The Healthcare Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Mary Caldwell, R.N., M.B.A., Ph.D., 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. Caldwell, a general partner at Medical Technology Partners in La Quinta, Calif., was honored for ongoing contributions during more than 15 years in women’s heart disease awareness, nursing and systems of care.

The Physician of the Year Award was presented to Gerald Ross Marx, 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. Marx, director of ultrasound imaging research at Boston Children’s Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, was honored for more than three decades of volunteer service and numerous contributions to the association’s mission in the areas of science, fundraising and advocacy.

The Ron Haddock AHA/ASA International Impact Award was presented to Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., FAHA. The award recognizes important service in support of the association’s international programs. Fuster, physician-in-chief at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, was honored for his volunteer contributions over more than 35 years, during which he has continually fostered opportunities for the association to play a leading role in international cardiovascular health efforts. Fuster was AHA president in 1998-99.

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  or call any of our offices around the country.


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