Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association (AHA) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the number one and number three causes of death in the United States, and awareness is critical to curbing heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular conditions.

The Challenge
In the first three years of conflict in Iraq, over 20% of medical flights out of the country were for acute cardiovascular conditions, thus depleting ground forces. Since then, the military has increased its focus on addressing and treating cardiovascular disease and events by putting cardiologists and the necessary treatment facilities in theatre. The AHA wanted to launch a campaign that would honor the doctors in the military who provide the care to ensure our military members can go into high risk situations, endure the stress of combat, and travel under extreme conditions. This campaign would not only highlight the challenges military doctors face treating patients in combat, which requires quick treatment at the point of injury, but also raise awareness of heart diseases and improve employee health.

How CGI Helped
The AHA partnered with CGI and, as part of a year-long campaign devoted to improving employee health, launched the aptly titled “Heart Heroes” campaign. The Heart Heroes program focused on honoring doctors in the military for their dedication to the field of cardiology. CGI and the AHA worked with the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences to identify candidates for recognition. Of the 20 cardiologists nominated to serve as Heart Heroes, 7 honorees were selected based on their unique combination of diverse expertise and real-life familiarity with treating cardiovascular diseases in the theater and stateside.

The Results
The Heart Heroes were unveiled at the 2010 Heart Ball where over 600 attendees learned about the military cardiologists. Since then, posters of the honorees have been traveling throughout the region so the public could learn about the physicians making a difference in the field.

The bottom line: The AHA and CGI were proud to honor the men and women of the armed forces, who are fighting cardiovascular disease and saving lives on the battlefield while bringing awareness to help curb the disease.

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