June 10 marks the 100th birthday of the American Heart Association, the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Since the Association was founded in 1924, deaths in the United States from cardiovascular disease have been cut in half[1].  After a century of saving lives with the American Heart Association, survivors, volunteers and supporters from across the nation and the state are celebrating 100 years of collaboration as the organization looks to its second century of providing health and hope for everyone everywhere.

“The history of the American Heart Association is dotted with the influence of Hoosiers,” said Mark Jacob, chairman of the Association’s board of directors in Indianapolis. “We’re proud that one of the six founding cardiologists of the Association hailed from New Albany, that a founding national board member was from Indianapolis, and that a national chairman of the board in the early 2000s also was a Hoosier raised in Fort Wayne and working in Indianapolis.”

The American Heart Association has helped save and improve lives, launched scientific discovery and advocated for healthy public policies in communities across the nation. These bold moves have helped transform the nation’s health and significantly reduced heart disease and stroke death rates. View the historical timeline of the American Heart Association to see the accomplishments made since the Association’s founding such as spearheading groundbreaking research, innovation and advocacy to fight cardiovascular disease and pioneering life-saving interventions.

“We realize that our work is not yet finished,” Jacob said. “The American Heart Association is encouraging every individual, company, school and community to unite in changing the future of health – not only for ourselves – but for our loved ones in the places we live, work and play. Today and every day, we can improve health and inspire hope for the future everyone deserves.”

The achievements of the American Heart Association over the past century have already resulted in more than $5.7 billion invested in cardiovascular scientific research – the largest investment outside of the federal government – made possible by the passion of community-based volunteers, donors and employees. Since 2000, more than $42 million has been invested at institutions in Indiana including Indiana University, Indiana State University, Notre Dame and Purdue University.

“As we close out our first 100 years and begin the next, recent risk factor trends and projections indicate our work remains even more important” Jacob said. “We know that we can’t achieve our bold goals alone and are grateful to the people across Indiana for the passion and commitment they give to support the mission. At the American Heart Association, our future is about improving yours.”

Reaching the Association’s bold goals is made possible because of like-minded individuals and organizations who share in the vision of better health for Hoosiers. Twelve Indiana companies have pledged support of donations of time, talent and funds as Second Century campaign donors. The leading organizations and generous individuals include:

  • Ascension St.Vincent
  • Beacon Hill
  • Bowen Engineering
  • Cliffs
  • DEEM
  • Hendricks Regional Health
  • Indiana University Health
  • Roche
  • Shea-Kewitt Joint Venture

The full list of Second Century donors can be viewed here.

To see the new short film, “24 – a short film from the Heart” and learn more about accomplishments in the first 100 years of the American Heart Association or how to participate in the Second Century campaign, visit heart.org/centennial or contact haley.rudolph@heart.org for more information.