‘Father of Aerobics’ receives American Heart Association award for his leadership advancing AHA mission to enhance heart health
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 4, 2012 – The American Heart Association presented its Chairman’s Award honoring excellence in volunteer service to aerobics advocate Kenneth H. Cooper, M.D., M.P.H., of Dallas “for his steadfast, invaluable leadership and myriad contributions positively impacting the Association’s mission to enhance cardiovascular health.”
Dr. Cooper, founder and chairman of the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas, received the award during the opening of the Association Scientific Sessions 2012 at the new Los Angeles Convention Center. AHA Board Chairman Ron W. Haddock of Dallas presented the award, a citation and $1,000 honorarium.
“For more than four decades, Dr. Cooper has been at the vanguard of a highly successful campaign to improve health and wellness,” Mr. Haddock said in presenting the award.
“Widely recognized as the ‘Father of Aerobics’ and a pioneer in preventive medicine, Dr. Cooper has directed research establishing the cardiovascular benefits of exercise and has effectively worked to translate these highly relevant findings into public policy and programs, including those of the American Heart Association,” Mr. Haddock said.
Under Cooper’s direction, the center that bears his name has created and maintained the largest existing database with an objective measure of fitness, the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study. “Data generated therein laid the scientific foundation for a more enlightened approach to achieving and maintaining cardiovascular health through physical fitness,” Mr. Haddock said.
The award citation cited Cooper’s leadership in urging strengthened physical education in Texas schools; seeking to eliminate trans-fats in school lunches; tirelessly advocating a statewide smoke-free law, and developing a national assessment of children’s nutritional health.
Cooper, founder of the Dallas Heart Walk in 1992, has had a “tremendous impact” on the AHA’s ability to develop support for its activities and programs, the chairman said.
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.org or call any of our offices around the country.
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