DALLAS and ALEXANDRIA, Va., August 4, 2020 – Working together, the American Heart Association and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, are improving health outcomes for students and educators through a new collaboration for the coming school year.

The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, and AASA, the nation’s premier organization representing school district leadership, will collaborate on school-related health issues such as youth vaping and e-cigarette addiction and social-emotional learning, which are now even more critical as a result of COVID-19. The organizations will focus on supporting school leaders on important school-related health issues, forming policy positions and finding solutions that enhance the learning environment.

“Schools are seeking clear and actionable guidance to operate and prevent further spread of COVID-19, said Nancy Brown, CEO American Heart Association. “Bringing together school and health leaders to strengthen health policies and support our kids and teachers through the pandemic and beyond is a vital step to protect the health of our communities.”

The joint efforts will increase local, regional and national dialogues around whole-child development needs of families and students, including connections with local health care and food security organizations.

Kristi Wilson Ed.D., superintendent of the Buckeye Elementary School District in Arizona and president of AASA, said, “This is a powerful opportunity to support school leaders in the complex work of creating healthy schools. School leaders will benefit from this collaboration because it will give them more trusted, research-based resources centered on positive health and wellness outcomes for every child and staff member in our schools.”

Research[1] has shown that young children in healthy and supportive learning environments, are more likely to be emotionally, mentally and physically healthy and able to reach their full potential. Because the early years play a vital role in developing healthy behaviors that can carry into adolescence and adulthood, the school setting (in person or online) is an ideal venue to help children learn about and implement wellness.


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.

About AASA

AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.

For Media Inquiries AHA: 214-706-1173

Linzy Cotaya: 504-872-3446; linzy.cotaya@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) heart.org and stroke.org

For Media Inquiries AASA:

James Minichello, director of communications


703-774-6953 (cell)