Longtime Chicago Bakers & Philanthropists Donate $2 Million to American Heart Association

March 07, 2017 Categories: Program News

 CHICAGO, March 7, 2017 – The American Heart Association (AHA) announced Monday a $2 million donation from Paul and Joan Rubschlager. Their gift creates the Paul and Joan Rubschlager Precision Promise Fund to support the AHA Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine (Institute). The Institute was established to eliminate cardiovascular diseases and stroke by creating better-targeted, safer and more effective treatment and prevention strategies through the holistic study of individuals’ genetics, environment and lifestyle.

The Paul and Joan Rubschlager Precision Promise Fund supports initiatives of the Institute including new research grants that propel precision cardiovascular medicine, the online platform where researchers and clinicians have easy access to research data for analysis, and inspiring individuals to share their personal health information.

“The American Heart Association is so grateful for Paul and Joan’s support and leadership over the years. They are inspiring community leaders who understand the importance of research and the need to positively impact America’s #1 health threat – cardiovascular disease,” Midwest Affiliate Executive Vice President Kevin Harker said. “We are eager to see the lifesaving impact from the precision medicine initiative on the treatment and prevention of heart disease and stroke.”

Together, the Chicago couple ran the Rubschlager Baking Corporation – a family bakery. They have always viewed their success as a means to create positive and transformative change in the world, particularly through medical research which they strongly believe is the key to saving lives.

“We hear about precision medicine at other medical research groups with which we are involved. Without a doubt, precision medicine is the foundation for future successful medical treatment. Treatment can be targeted to a specific condition for a specific individual, thus removing the need to experiment with treatments that may or may not succeed. We believe that this gift will allow AHA to get a running start with their precision medicine program,” said the Rubschlagers when they shared their thoughts about why this gift makes such a difference to them.

Precision medicine – a historic shift in the traditional approach to scientific research and medical care – is creating a new generation of collaborative research and redefining the role individuals play in their own healthcare. Cardiovascular diseases are unique to each person, but risk factors, guidelines and treatments have traditionally been viewed as “one size fits all.” The Institute is focused on entirely new approach to medical practice, where traditional results from blood work and biometrics are combined with saliva tests and lifestyle data to provide physicians a complete picture of an individual.

The Rubschlagers commitment to eradicating cardiovascular disease and their dedication to the association’s mission stretches beyond their most recent gift. Paul and Joan have been supporting and attending the Chicago Heart Ball for over 25 years, where they were honored with the Heart of Gold Award for their gift of $1 million – the largest individual gift in the event’s history as of 2014.

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About the AHA Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine

The American Heart Association Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine is the only organization dedicated exclusively to advancing precision medicine in cardiovascular care.  The Institute aims to preserve and prolong health by architecting more precise scientific discoveries – those that take into account a person’s genetics, environment and lifestyle – for better prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. To learn more, apply for research grants or to get involved, visit http://institute.heart.org.

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 heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact: Webb Bierbrier; 214.706.1597; webb.bierbrier@heart.org