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American Heart Association

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The American Heart Association (AHA) is a non-profit organization in the United States that fosters appropriate cardiac care in an effort to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke. It is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The American Heart Association is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is: "Building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke." Its motto is "Learn and Live".


The American Heart Association publishes a standard for providing basic and advanced life support, including standards for proper performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The AHA offers the most widely accepted certification for basic life support (BLS). The AHA is now also a provider of training for first aid, in addition to CPR. The AHA also operates an affiliated organization, the American Stroke Association, which focuses on care, research and prevention of strokes.

History and Reputation

In 1994, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, an industry publication, released the results of the largest study of charitable and non-profit organization popularity and credibility. The study showed that the American Heart Association was ranked as the 5th "most popular charity/non-profit in America" of over 100 charities researched with 95% of Americans over the age of 12 choosing Love and Like A lot for the American Heart Association.

Recent Events and Activities

On October 28, 2009 The American Heart Association and the Ad Council launched a Hands Only CPR PSA and website.

On November 30, 2009, The American Heart Association announced a new cardiac arrest awareness campaign called Be the Beat.The campaign’s aim is to help create the next generation of lifesavers by teaching 12- to 15-year-olds fun ways to learn the basics of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and how to use an automated external defibrillator. The official site, BetheBeat.heart.org, contains interactive games, quizzes, and a playlist of 100-beat-per-minute songs, as well as a section for teachers and administrators who want to incorporate CPR and AED educational information into their schools.

In May 2010, the AHA endorsed the Nintendo Wii Console to encourage everyone to get involved in a level of fitness that would develop healthiness. The AHA Heart Icon is featured on the box of the console as well as on the Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort titles.

In July 2011, new content was added to the website including a digital app that helps a user learn how to perform Hands-Only CPR.

It also carried out a campaign in 2012 to educate more people on how to carry out Hands-Only CPR. The 2012 campaign, which began in New York, had Jennifer Coolidge as the celebrity spokesperson.

Various affiliates around the country hold annual fundraising events, such as Go Red for Women, Heart Ball and Heart Walk.

In 2012, singer-songwriter and actress Michelle Williams became an ambassador for the Power to End Stroke campaign. In speaking of her role she said "I am honored to partner with the campaign [...] My father had a stroke in 2005 due to smoking, diabetes and an unhealthy diet, and my grandmother was diagnosed with having a stroke in 2006 when she went to her doctor for a simple outpatient procedure. I am bringing awareness to people so that strokes can be prevented. Let’s take care of ourselves…the first step is knowledge about your health."