DALLAS, May 4, 2020 — Tomorrow, on #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of philanthropic action to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Heart Association – the leading global public health organization devoted to a world of longer healthier lives – is asking people to #ShowUsYourGood by donating to help the Association support the 120 million heart disease and stroke patients who may be at higher risk of complications from the coronavirus (COVID-19). Every dollar given up to $360,000 will be doubled thanks to a generous matching grant.
Stroke survivors, people with high blood pressure or diabetes and those with heart disease of any age may face increased risk for serious complications if they become infected with COVID-19. Those with hypertension, diabetes or cardiovascular disease who get COVID-19 appear to be dying at rates 2-3 times higher than the general population. And, among patients who died from COVID-19, substantial cardiac damage has been observed.
“This fast-moving COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique set of challenges summed up in one word: uncertainty,” said Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association. “Millions of people are counting on us for science-based guidance, research that gets to the core of big unanswered questions, resources for the front lines, community programs and patient support. I’m humbled every day by our 40 million staff, volunteers and supporters, many of whom are on the front lines of this pandemic, who are demonstrating real humanity and prioritizing the people who are counting on us most.”
The American Heart Association has swiftly responded to COVID-19 by funding rapid scientific research, supporting front-line health care workers, and helping communities and individuals navigate the complex challenges intensified by the global pandemic ranging from food security to access to care.
Already, thanks to generous donors and a committed staff and volunteer force, in just a few weeks’ time the American Heart Association has:
- Funded $2.5 million in fasted-track research to better understand COVID-19 and what it means for heart disease and stroke patients.
- Offered supplemental funding grants to the Association’s new Health Technologies & Innovation Strategically Focused Research Network centers to create new technology-based solutions for addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Developed interim CPR guidelines to help rescuers and first-responders safely treat cardiac arrest victims with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- Made oxygenation and ventilation courses available free to healthcare providers who need them in the global fight against COVID-19.
- Urged lawmakers at the federal and state levels to ensure all families have access to care, including guaranteed free coronavirus testing.
- Stood up the first COVID-19 patients registry to allow researchers to collect critical data elements that may provide insights to the treatment and track adverse cardiovascular outcomes for this new disease. Powered by the Association’s successful Get With The Guidelines® hospital quality improvement program, the multi-center registry focuses on granular data collection from centers that routinely test biomarkers in adult COVID-19 patients.
- Supported local organizations that are addressing social determinants of health, including investees of the AHA Social Impact Fund.
- Convened the presidents of seven other cardiovascular disease organizations in a called to action to educate the public that calling 9-1-1 is still your best chance of surviving or saving a life.
- Launched an online business exchange to make critical connections between businesses with resources to share and communities with need, quickly and easily, resulting in people getting help faster.
“The American Heart Association is unleashing our full organizational strength to tackle this crisis head on,” said Bert Scott, chairman of the board of the American Heart Association. “People living with heart disease and stroke are at greater risk of severe complications from COVID-19 and are rightfully concerned. We have urgent problems to solve and that’s why we need you now more than ever.”
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:
Bridget O’Leary: 214-535-9618; firstname.lastname@example.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)