WASHINGTON, D.C., August 23, 2018 — American Heart Association President Ivor Benjamin, M.D. issued the following comments on today’s passage of the Senate’s 2019 funding bill for Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education:

“The Senate’s approval of the Labor-HHS spending bill is a tremendous triumph for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and for every patient who will benefit from its research.

After three consecutive years, this year will be the fourth for NIH budget increases and we sincerely hope Congress continues to make federal support for research a top priority in 2019 and beyond. Sustained funding for the NIH is critical to ensuring the nation’s standing as a global leader in research. Even more importantly, it opens an abundance of possibilities in pioneering research that could help us conquer cardiovascular disease, the no. 1 killer in America and around the world.

Our thanks to Senators Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Patty Murray (D-Wa.) for their leadership in securing this $2 billion increase for the NIH. We strongly encourage their colleagues in the House to accept this increase and support its inclusion in the final legislation.”


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.

For Media Inquiries:
Retha Sherrod: 202-785-7929; retha.sherrod@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and strokeassociation.org