- $5.6 million will be used to expand ongoing cardiovascular research focused exclusively on women at the Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Center at NYU Grossman School of Medicine
- Family gift of $300,000 from Sally Soter and the Soter Kay Foundation to support hypertension and diabetes management initiatives in Palm Beach County
DALLAS, May 11, 2020 — The American Heart Association, the leading global public health organization devoted to a world of longer healthier lives, announced today a significant $5.9 million gift from Sarah (Sally) Ross Soter and her husband, Bill, with support from the Soter Kay Foundation, which is led by her daughter and grandchildren.
Soter, a long-time volunteer and patron, and Bill, made a personal commitment of $5.6 million to extend their funding of the Sarah Ross Soter Center for Women’s Cardiovascular Research at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. This Center is part of the Association’s Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network. There are significant biological differences between men and women, yet more work is needed to close gender disparity gaps when it comes to cardiovascular research. In 2015, Soter launched the Association’s first Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Center at NYU Langone under the direction of Judith Hochman, M.D. and Harmony Reynolds, M.D.
Soter’s generosity will allow Dr. Hochman and Dr. Reynolds to advance ongoing research over the next five years focused exclusively on women and the biological variables affecting health and disease, including stress. This seminal research will deepen the understanding of gender differences in the causes and mechanisms of heart attacks and reduce the occurrence of heart attacks in women, especially those heart attacks in women that occur without any blockage of the coronary arteries.
“For decades, the work of the AHA has been personal for Sarah (Sally) Ross Soter, who together with her husband Bill are accelerating women’s research and helping reverse the startling statistic of 1 in 3 women dying of heart disease and stroke annually,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association. “Thanks to Sally and Bill, the Association, Dr. Hochman and Dr. Reynolds, and the Strategically Focused Research Center at NYU Langone, will understand more deeply the unique risks of heart disease and presentation of heart attacks in women.”
“I’m delighted to support the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association alongside my husband, Bill, to be a relentless force for good,” said Soter. “I hope this gift will benefit generations of women to come through scientific discovery under the great leadership of Dr. Hochman and Dr. Reynolds.”
“We are in awe of Sally’s, and her husband, Bill’s, desire to make a positive impact for the future of women’s cardiovascular care,” said Judith Hochman, M.D. “Through Sally and Bill’s generous support of the Sarah Ross Soter Center for Women’s Cardiovascular Research at NYU Langone, we will continue to unlock new ways to treat, beat and prevent cardiovascular disease in women.”
“The research program established by the Soter family has identified completely new findings in women with heart attack,” said Harmony Reynolds, M.D, the center director. “We are grateful to Sally, Bill and the American Heart Association for the opportunity to build on these results, breaking new ground to investigate sex as a biological factor in heart attack.”
Within her local community of Palm Beach County, Fla., Soter and the Soter Kay Foundation, which is led by her daughter, Sarah, and grandchildren, have committed $300,000 to the Association to further our collaborative work supporting hypertension and diabetes management programs to relieve at-risk populations in their community.
People living in Palm Beach County with unmanaged high blood pressure and diabetes will have access to free blood pressure equipment, diabetes education and tailored healthcare support at 20 local Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) with the hopes of reaching 200,000 people, especially women, who account for 65% of the local population that visit FQHCs. Women are also more likely to have high blood pressure  and physician-diagnosed diabetes.
“Caring for the most underserved communities and addressing underlying health inequities, which are palpable during the COVID-19 pandemic, is essential to moving our mission forward,” said Brown. “Three generations of Sally’s family have made it their life’s work to give back to their communities and the Association deeply admires Sally’s vision of instilling the health and well-being of all people with her children and grandchildren.”
This gift is another example of the extraordinary action Soter is taking to be a relentless force for longer, healthier lives. Soter’s passion and involvement with the Association spans decades, caring for the most underserved communities. To date, Soter has contributed over $16 million to the American Heart Association’s mission.
The gift kicked-off the Association’s Giving Tuesday Now movement, #ShowUsYourGood, which launched on May 5, 2020. To help the American Heart Association continue to make an impact, donate now at heart.org.
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 nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
For Media Inquiries:
Kim Haller: 214.706.4858; Kimberly.firstname.lastname@example.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
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 Benjamin EJ, Muntner P, Alonso A, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics - 2019 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. E259. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000659 Published January 31, 201