During the 2017 Heart on the Hill Day, the AHA bestowed upon U. S. Senator Brian Schatz its National Public Service Award. The award is presented to one Democrat and one Republican Congressional representative annually.
Senator Brian Schatz was recognized for his dedicated career to public service as a strong advocate for health issues, as well as for Hawaii’s middle-class families, a clean energy economy, seniors, veterans, and Native Hawaiians.
Schatz has worked to enhance Social Security and Medicare, and ensure that our veterans receive the benefits they have earned. As the father of two young children, Senator Schatz has also made education a top priority.
Prior to serving as Senator, he was Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor, during which he also volunteered as the AHA’s Oahu Heart Walk Honorary Chairman, helping to rally state departments to participate in the event. Prior to that, Senator Schatz was a member of the Hawai`i State House of Representatives where he often supported AHA-promoted policy issues. Schatz was also the CEO of Helping Hands Hawai`i, one of Hawaii’s largest non-profit community social services organizations.
In the current Congress, Senator Schatz is an original cosponsor of the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act, and a cosponsor of the CONNECT for Health Act and the CHRONIC Care Act. He also supports the removal of nutrition riders (specifically with sodium and school meals) in appropriations measures. He is strongly supportive of school meal standards and was a co-sponsor of Strong Start for America’s Children Act in the 114th Congress, a universal pre-K act which included language on physical activity and nutrition.
Also in the previous Congress. Senator Schatz was an original sponsor of the S. 2100 Tobacco to 21 Act, and cosponsored the Reaching Underserved Areas on Telehealth Act, a bill Protecting and Retaining Our Children’s Health Insurance Program Act and the Medicare Affordability and Enrollment Act - all legislation supported by the Association.
Senator Schatz’ late father, Irwin, was a cardiologist, and a volunteer leader for the American Heart Association serving as the AHA’s Hawaii Affiliate Board President and as its Research Committee chairman.