Embargoed until 7 a.m. CT/ 8 a.m. ET, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 14, 2016 — The American Heart Association awarded its Clinical Research Prize for 2016 to Joseph P. Ornato, M.D., of Virginia Commonwealth University Health System “for landmark clinical research that contributed enormously to the solid scientific base for life-saving programs of emergency cardiac care, treatment of cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.”

Ornato received the prize during opening ceremonies of the AHA Scientific Sessions 2016 on Sunday, Nov. 13, at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. AHA President Steven Houser, Ph.D., of Temple University in Philadelphia presented the prize, a citation and $5,000 honorarium.

As he presented the award, Houser praised the Virginia investigator “for his numerous high-impact publications and his leadership in clinical research initiatives that have been essential in constructing the scientific underpinnings of today’s greatly improved emergency cardiac care.”

“A clear leader in this dramatically developing field, Dr. Ornato has published more than 350 manuscripts during a highly productive career,” Houser said. “These invaluable papers focused on enhanced emergency cardiac care for conditions such as heart attack and cardiac arrest.”

Studies by Ornato demonstrated the enormous potential value of mechanical CPR devices during resuscitation, AHA’s president noted.  “This work also helped establish the current sub-field of resuscitation science based on the mechanical delivery of CPR.”

Ornato chaired the steering committee of the NIH/AHA-sponsored clinical trial resulting in “one of the most impactful resuscitation science papers in the last 20 years,” Houser said.  “This trial demonstrated the life-saving potential of public-access defibrillators that has led to the explosive growth of automated external defibrillator programs, resulting in countless lives saved around the world.”  

Ornato is professor and chairman of emergency medicine and professor of internal medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond. 


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