Bakersfield, Calif., June 10, 2024 — Since the American Heart Association was founded in 1924, deaths in the United States from cardiovascular disease have been cut in half. June 10 commemorates the official founding of the Association, the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. After a century of saving lives with the American Heart Association, the organization looks to its second century of providing health and hope for everyone everywhere.

The American Heart Association has helped save and improve lives, launched scientific discovery and advocated for healthy public policies in communities across the nation. These bold moves have helped transform the nation’s health and significantly reduced heart disease and stroke death rates. View the historical timeline of the American Heart Association to see the accomplishments made since the Association’s founding such as spearheading groundbreaking research, innovation and advocacy to fight cardiovascular disease and pioneering life-saving interventions.

“We know the work in our community is not yet finished,” said Jared Salvo, DO, president, American Heart Association, Kern County board of directors and cardiologist, Kern Cardiac Institute. “The American Heart Association encourages every individual, company, school and community to unite in changing the future of health – not only for ourselves – but for our loved ones and the places we live, work and play. Today and every day, we can each take steps to help improve health and inspire hope for the future everyone deserves.”

The achievements of the American Heart Association over the past century have already resulted in more than $5.7 billion invested in cardiovascular scientific research – the largest investment outside of the federal government – made possible by the passion of community-based volunteers, donors and employees.

"As the American Heart Association enters its hundredth year of scientific discovery and innovation, we're incredibly grateful to the Kern community for their continued passion and commitment to our mission,” said Shannon MacAdam, region senior vice president, development and community health, American Heart Association. “This is a great moment to recognize the work that’s already happening across Kern County to foster heart and brain health. It’s also a moment for us to unite as a community and champion even more equitable outcomes for all.”

Reaching the Association’s bold goals is made possible because of like-minded individuals and organizations who share in the vision of better health for everyone in Kern County. The leading organizations across Kern County that have pledged support of donations of time, talent and funds as Second Century campaign donors include:

  • Adventist Health
  • Centre for Neuro Skills
  • Centric Health
  • Dignity Health
  • Robert Grimm Family Foundation
  • Valley Strong Credit Union

The full list of Second Century donors can be viewed here.

To see the new short film, “24 – a short film from the Heart” and learn more about accomplishments in the first 100 years of the American Heart Association or how to participate in the Second Century campaign, visit or contact Chelsea Ashcraft at


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for a century. During 2024 - our Centennial year - we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with the American Heart Association in Kern County on or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.  

For media inquiries:

Lily Gordon, 

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and