Major Gifts, Major Impact

Our revenue for the fiscal year totaled $795 million. Major gifts from individuals and foundations totaled $46 million. Here are some highlights.

Every second counts in a medical emergency, yet in rural communities a patient may live 100 miles away from the nearest hospital. The AHA’s Mission: Lifeline Stroke initiative is closing the gaps in stroke care by bringing together hospitals, emergency medical services, first responders and post-acute care agencies. Together, they provide a seamless plan of action to treat stroke patients through rehabilitation and recovery.

This year, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust gave a $4.8 million gift to bring Mission: Lifeline Stroke to Montana. This is the third rural state to benefit from streamlined, quality stroke care through this generous donor’s commitment to equitable health care. Since 2010, the Helmsley Charitable Trust has committed more than $54 million to the AHA’s programs that improve care for people in rural communities.

“We believe that a comprehensive approach is the best way to ‘move the needle,’ especially for rural populations that face longer transit times and limited access to specialists,” said trustee Walter Panzirer. The Helmsley Charitable Trust also awarded a $200,000 grant to assist the AHA in creating and disseminating up-to-date training for health care professionals on life-saving care for COVID-19 patients.

Another stroke initiative is improving outcomes and driving advances in stroke care, thanks to Bernie Marcus and The Marcus Foundation’s continued support of the Marcus Stroke Network. In 2017, The Marcus Foundation donated $3.5 million to establish the Marcus Stroke Network. In collaboration with the American Heart Association, the Marcus Stroke Network includes the Marcus Stroke & Neuroscience Center at Grady Hospital and Emory Brain Health Center, both in Atlanta, and the Marcus Neuroscience Institute at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. This quality improvement and patient care initiative aims to reduce stroke disability and death rates in the Southeastern United States. With an additional $2.2 million investment in 2019, this next phase will enhance preparedness in hospitals and expand participation in Get With The Guidelines - Stroke to significantly improve patient outcomes.

Stroke survivors and those living with heart disease may face an increased risk for serious complications if they get COVID-19. The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation awarded $500,000 to develop the AHA’s COVID-19 Cardiovascular Disease Registry powered by Get With The Guidelines®. The registry collects data on patient clinical characteristics, medications, treatments, labs, vitals, biomarkers and outcomes for adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19, including those without a history of cardiovascular disease or stroke. The registry, free to participating hospitals, will focus on real-time data to better help clinicians and researchers understand and provide feedback to health care organizations on how to best treat COVID-19 patients. 

Bill Gates
Bill Gates

The AHA and global philanthropist and technology visionary Bill Gates are accelerating discoveries related to heart and brain health, thanks to a $2.3 million extension of the association’s Strategically Focused Research Network on health technologies and innovation.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a longtime partner in our efforts to advance health, donated $1.5 million to strengthen state and local campaigns to defend, oppose and repeal harmful preemption policies related to tobacco. A preemption policy happens when states block communities from passing their own laws, such as a state interfering with cities passing smokefree air laws.

E-cigarettes are addicting a new generation of kids and threatening to reverse decades of progress in reducing youth tobacco use. Kaiser Permanente gave a $1 million gift to support the AHA's advocacy efforts to protect today's youth and future generations from tobacco and nicotine addiction.

Gail Becker, founder and CEO of CAULIPOWER
Gail Becker, founder and

Families in need are receiving free produce deliveries, due to a $1 million gift from CAULIPOWER, with thanks to their founder and CEO, Gail Becker. The donation will also help fund the AHA’s 300,000-member Teaching Gardens network and create 100 new gardens to teach children the benefits of home-grown fruits and vegetables.

Nancy Brown and John Houston III
AHA CEO Nancy Brown and
John Houston III

The AHA’s Social Impact Fund (video) invests in local entrepreneurs and organizations that break down the social and economic barriers to health equity. John Houston III donated $500,000 to start the Social Impact Fund in the Greater Washington D.C. area in 2020.

More than 1 million Americans have high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The Michigan Health Endowment Fund awarded $500,000 to fund implementation of Target: BP for nine Federally Qualified Health Center partners in Michigan, helping older adults take control of their health.

Tom, Corrine and Elle
Tom and Corrine Greco
with granddaughter, Elle

It's easy to support the AHA through a donor-advised fund. Longtime supporters Corrine and Thomas R. Greco, president and CEO of Advance Auto Parts, made a $500,000 gift through their fund in support of the Triangle Heart Walk and community CPR initiatives.

Kathleen Raife Legacy Gift
Katie Raife, a registered nurse,
conducts blood pressure training

Kathleen Raife established The John Raife Legacy Fund with a $500,000 commitment, honoring her husband Dr. John Raife, who is a cardiologist and former AHA board member. This award supports local AHA work that drives community impact, offering special recognition to a volunteer for going above and beyond for community leadership.

VIVA Physicians, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing vascular medicine and intervention through education, research, advocacy and collaboration, donated $500,000 to the AHA in support of vascular research.