WASHINGTON, D.C., February 15, 2022 — American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following statement in response to the Senate confirmation of Robert M. Califf, M.D. as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

“Throughout his career, Dr. Califf has been a relentless force in the fight against heart disease and stroke. As FDA commissioner, Dr. Califf will put this experience to work leading the agency’s critical efforts to protect and improve the public’s health. The American Heart Association congratulates Dr. Califf on his confirmation and thanks the Senate for its bipartisan support of an outstanding leader.

“With a distinguished career in public service and a long-time volunteer leader at the American Heart Association, Dr. Califf has honed his ability to communicate and build trust with diverse constituencies. He will use his experience as a cardiologist to safeguard the health and well-being of people throughout the country, and his background in research to prioritize science and evidence-based policymaking. His previous leadership of the FDA will enable him to hit the ground running and ensure the agency can meet the current public health threats.

“The FDA faces a formidable set of challenges that require urgent action and we look forward to working with Dr. Califf, to ensure the FDA prioritizes the health and well-being of the nation.”

The American Heart Association has long advocated for the FDA to:

  • Continue prioritizing high-risk populations for COVID-19 vaccine distribution and mitigating disparities by race, sex, gender, disability status, health insurance status, citizenship status and geographic location.
  • Strengthen its efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate tobacco use and nicotine addiction by eliminating menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars from the market, completing its review of premarket tobacco applications and denying applications for flavored e-cigarettes, lowering nicotine content of cigarettes and cigars to non- or minimally-addictive levels, and regulating synthetic nicotine products.
  • Ensure that all medical products, including therapeutics and vaccines for COVID-19, are safe and effective.
  • Empower consumers to make healthier food choices by strengthening the criteria food and beverages must meet to be marketed as “healthy” and developing long-term sodium reduction targets for the food industry to lower the amount of sodium in the food supply.


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.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   


For Media Inquiries:

Arielle Beer: 202.785.7902; arielle.beer@heart.org

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

heart.org and stroke.org