American Heart Association honors top volunteers at annual awards luncheon

June 25, 2015 Categories: Program News, Heart News

DALLAS, June 25, 2015 – The American Heart Association (AHA) honored several leading volunteers at its annual Awards Luncheon in Dallas on June 24.

Four individuals and one foundation were honored with Awards of Meritorious Achievement, while others were recognized as Healthcare Volunteer of the Year, Physician of the Year, The Louis B. Russell, Jr. Memorial Award and The Ron Haddock AHA/ASA International Impact Award.

Awards of Meritorious Achievement were presented to John E. Hall, Ph.D., FAHA; the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust; Pegui Maridueña, CMC, MBA, and Bertram L. Scott; and Daryl Osby. The award recognizes significant accomplishments or projects that affect the association at a national level. Hall was recognized for more than four decades of outstanding service on behalf of the association’s efforts to improve the prevention, treatment and awareness of hypertension as a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Hall, a past editor-in-chief of the association’s journal Hypertension, is the Arthur C. Guyton Professor and Chair in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust was recognized for exemplary commitment to funding the the asssociation’s Mission: Lifeline initiative in rural communities. Since 2010, the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Rural Healthcare Program has donated more than $36 million to support implementation of the quality improvement program in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. 

Maridueña and Scott were recognized for their leadership and guidance as advisors for multicultural inclusiveness and relevance in AHA communications and marketing campaigns, including the Life is Why branding platform. Maridueña is president of StarMar Consulting in Alpharetta, Georgia. Scott is senior vice president of population health at Novant Health, Inc., in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Osby was recognized for his vision and guidance on behalf of CPR awareness and training initiatives in Los Angeles County. Osby is chief of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The Louis B. Russell, Jr. Memorial Award was presented to Alexander P. Almazan, an attorney and founder of Alexander P. Almazan, PA, a Miami law firm. The award recognizes an individual who has rendered outstanding service to minority and underserved populations. Almazan was honored for his service from 2012 to 2015 as chairperson of the association’s Diversity Leadership Committee, and his efforts on behalf of initiatives including Power To End Stroke, EmPowered To Serve and Go Red Por Tu Corazón. 

The Healthcare Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Nancy Albert, Ph.D., CCNS, CHFN, CCRN, 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. Albert, associate chief nursing officer at the Office of Research and Innovation of the Cleveland Clinic Health System, was honored for her ongoing efforts as an innovator in quality improvement and champion of Get With The Guidelines and The Guideline Advantage.

The Physician of the Year Award was presented to Lori Mosca, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., FAHA. 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. Mosca, a professor of medicine and director of preventive cardiology at Columbia University Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital, was honored for more than 25 years of exemplary service as a champion for the advancement of women’s cardiovascular health.

The Ron Haddock AHA/ASA International Impact Award was presented to Sidney C. Smith, Jr., MD, FAHA. The award recognizes important service in support of the association’s international programs. Smith, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a senior advisor to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, was honored for his important, enduring contributions to the AHA’s efforts to address the global impact of non-communicable diseases and also advance the quality of care in hospitals worldwide through the implementation of Get With The Guidelines and other quality programs. Smith was the association’s president in 1995-96.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. 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.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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