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For 100 years, the American Heart Association (AHA) has been striving to save and improve lives. The six cardiologists who founded the American Heart Association in 1924 would be amazed by what's been accomplished.

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. A shared focus on cardiovascular health unites the more than 35 million volunteers, supporters and donors, as well as the nearly 3,000 employees.  The size and scope of the AHA allows it to have significant impact. More than $5 billion has been invested in research, making the AHA the largest not-for-profit funding source for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease research next to the federal government.

Striving to ensure everyone has the chance to enjoy longer, healthier lives, the American Heart Association is intensely focused on the organizational 2024 Impact Goal:

Every person deserves the opportunity for a full, healthy life. As champions for health equity, by 2024, the American Heart Association will advance cardiovascular health for all, including identifying and removing barriers to health care access and quality.

Success is measured by the number of lives saved, maximizing that by funding the most meritorious research, no matter where it’s done. This ensures the greatest impact on lives everywhere - including here in the Lincoln community. AHA research has led to gold standard treatments and guidelines used by health care providers in every corner of the nation and around the world.

Improving Quality of Patient Care
The American Heart Association’s Quality, Outcomes Research & Analytics (QORA) team works to narrow the gaps and disparities by converting guidelines into clinical practice to improve patient outcomes. QORA is focused on working with hospitals and health systems to: (1) deliver insights into improvements in care, (2) identify existing gaps and solutions in care, and (3) inform hospitals, clinics and health care providers on overall patient adherence to lifestyle and medical interventions.

Get With The Guidelines® is an in-hospital program for improving heart and stroke care by promoting consistent adherence to the latest scientific treatment guidelines. Half of the nation’s hospitals participate in at least one Get With The Guidelines quality improvement module, and more than 12 million people have been treated using at least one of these programs: (1) Heart Failure (2) Stroke (3) Coronary Artery Disease (4) Atrial Fibrillation (5) In-hospital Resuscitation.
Mission: Lifeline® is the AHA national initiative to advance the system of care and support hospitals, EMS agencies, regions and communities by bringing stakeholders together in a collaborative manner to reduce death and disability for patients while improving overall quality and patient outcomes.
Healthcare Certification supports excellence in care delivery across all care settings. AHA registries and quality consultation serve as the foundation for certification preparation and participation.

For a list of these healthcare systems in Nebraska, contact AHA Staff.

Community Impact in Nebraska
Collaborating on Community Health and Community Health Needs Assessments  The American Heart Association works within many community coalitions and collective impact initiatives in which hospitals participate or which they fund via their community benefit or foundation dollars. AHA community teams are also often direct recipients of hospital funds and work collaboratively with them in driving local working impacting nutrition insecurity, hypertension, tobacco and health equity work.

The AHA Support Network connects patients, survivors and their caregivers to others with similar experiences. This free resource can be used by hospitals as part of their recovery program for those learning how to cope.

AHA Nebraska:

  • Advocates for federal, state and local policies that help Americans build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
  • Engages employers and employees through the Well-Being Works Better and Life’s Essential 8’s® by teaching putting them on a path to monitor their cardiovascular health risks – both individually and collectively as an organization – and take actions to reduce those risks.
  • Through Target: BP™; Check. Change. Control. Cholesterol™ and Target: Type 2 Diabetes, AHA Nebraska provides clinical guidelines and protocols, offer free resources for both providers and patients and connect clinical partners to others around the country engaged in the same work.​​​​​​​

Community Volunteerism
Local Events and Volunteerism The AHA engages and unites employees through purpose-driven opportunities, enlisting employees in the delivery of that mission and provide leadership volunteer opportunities in Board, ELT, National Committees and other possibilities.

  • Heart Walk is the AHA's largest nationwide campaign. Corporate teams, sponsors, families, and walkers unite to keep people moving and connected through physical health and mental well-being while honoring and celebrating those affected by heart disease and stroke.
  • Heart Ball and the Heart of Lincoln campaigns addresses the health of all Nebraskans, including targeted conversations to increase understanding about the effects of tobacco, vaping, nutrition security, high blood pressure, CPR, and the chain of survival. The Heart Ball celebrates the collective success in driving change, funding science and improving behaviors.
  • In schools across the country and locally in Lincoln, the AHA Kids Heart Challenge program helps students form healthy habits while understanding the importance of helping others.
  • Leading off American Heart Month in February, the annual National Wear Red Day® united communities and supporters to wear red and give to the AHA mission: "Together we will educate families on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, we will fight to ensure our communities have the highest quality and most equitable care and we will find cures for heart disease and stroke. We will do all of this so that more people in our community can experience life’s best moments together."

New research studies funded in Nebraska in the past 5 years (2019-2023) by the American Heart Association:

  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln: 2 studies - $460,787
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha: 19 studies - $2,653,603
  • University of Nebraska, Omaha: 2 studies - $207,688

Total: 23 studies - $3,322,078

Contact, More Information
Lincoln Office - American Heart Association
Ella Salem, Director
(402) 875-7377

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