I was raised in a family committed to volunteerism. The American Heart Association has given me a home to continue this tradition. I have been a member of the North Central Connecticut Board of The American Heart Association for 4 years and have had the honor of being the Board President for the last 2 ½ years. My involvement has afforded me the opportunity to utilize my experience as a pediatric cardiologist to promote some of the amazing advocacy goals of the AHA. I have enjoyed helping shape legislation for, and testifying on behalf of the necessity of newborn screening for congenital heart disease and the benefits of requiring CPR as a graduation requirement for high school students. It has allowed me the ability to develop a unique relationship with the Connecticut chapter of the American College of Cardiology were I sit as one of the Counselors, a model relationship that I hope can be adopted nationally. This collaboration of forces toward mutual goals of improving the health of the citizens of our state has been enormously fulfilling.
Equally gratifying as being on the board has been the opportunity to meet and work with the Professional Staff of the AHA along with members of the board from completely different backgrounds, all working toward the goal of combating heart disease for all ages. Whether it be by meeting with our National legislative representative during AHA’s Heart on the Hill day in Washington DC, making Connecticut the first State to have 100% of its towns being certified Heart Safe Communities or working on National programs such as Go Red For Women, You’re the Cure or local Heart Walks and golf tournaments, my time spent with the AHA has been great.