There is an adage that if you need to get something done, ask someone who is busy to do it! Dr. D.P. Suresh is an interventional cardiologist and the Executive Medical Director of the Heart and Vascular Institute at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. This day-to-day work keeps him busy but his dedication to building healthier lives extends out to his active volunteerism with the American Heart Association.
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Dr. Suresh has been dedicated to expanding cardiac research ever since he received his first AHA research grant as a University of Cincinnati fellow in 1998. His commitment to volunteering led him to become part of the Cincinnati Board of Directors and then serving as the President of the Midwest Region Board of Directors covering 13 states.
As an AHA volunteer he became keenly interested in the impact he could have by being an advocate. He led efforts to reduce e-cigarette use regionally, seeking to make a generational change to help keep young people from becoming addicted to tobacco and nicotine and build a healthier community.
Dr. Suresh’s strong commitment to the health of Kentucky’s citizens became evident when he became invested as an advocate in helping secure the passage of the Heart Systems of Care legislation (HB512) during the 2022 state session.
A heart system of care establishes a system whereby the state Department of Health publicly recognizes hospitals that have been accredited by the American Heart Association, the Joint Commission or other approved nationally recognized guidelines-based organization certifying body. This is an important step in creating a better system of care around the most serious heart attacks by creating more communication, collaboration, and motivation between hospitals around the state.
His tireless work helped us not only successfully pass the legislation, but he also leveraged his expertise to help with the subsequent work to promulgate the associated regulations by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
Throughout the legislative and rule-making process, Dr. Suresh was never “too busy” and remained wholeheartedly devoted to improving the quality of care for cardiac patients by advocating for Kentucky to have a strong, effective heart systems of care law. He spoke not only to lawmakers but also other physicians and health system administrators, penned letters, and provided testimony.
Dr. Suresh helped bring the issue to life for lawmakers in Frankfort by explaining that when dealing with a time-sensitive medical emergency, like a heart attack, the right care at the right time and the right facility saves lives.
Join us in recognizing and thanking Dr. D.P. Suresh for his dedication to serving as a volunteer and commitment to advancing AHA’s advocacy efforts that help save lives and build healthier communities.