Advocate Spotlight: Ben Ellis

Ben Ellis is an advocate from Pittsburgh, PA who has dedicated his life to addressing emergency health and ensuring that everyone has a chance for a longer, healthier life. We talked to Ben about why advocacy with American Heart Association was so important to him.

hero_image_alt_text===Ben and Laurie at the US Capitol
thumbnail_alt_text===Ben and Laurie at the US Capitol

"I am proud to say I have been a part of the AHA now for about 10 years. From the age of 16 years old doing my first EMS ride-along, I have always been fascinated by the advanced cardiac care and how much our technology and research changes outcomes. I have been involved in the AHA as a provider, instructor, training center coordinator, Regional Faculty, and now Emergency Care Committee Member. Through these, I have seen some huge strides in the care we deliver. Redefining the word survival to include neurologic quality has been a huge step in developing a better model of care and more favorable outcomes. We are focused on the right objectives now more than ever.

Being in this industry, there are a few feelings that I’ll just never forget. The kind that motivates you for a lifetime. One is the first hug from a loved one after successfully resuscitating their family. Or the email from a student telling me about how they just got their first save and how smooth it went. Lately, I have had the honor of getting together with people of all backgrounds and “Why’s” fighting for policies that mean better care for everyone. In Pennsylvania, we accomplished CPR in schools after many exhausting years of hard work. Nationally, we’ve accomplished a year-over-year increase in NIH funding. This past year, while sitting in the office of a senator, waiting to discuss flavored tobacco, I learned the largest e-cigarette company was withdrawing its flavors directed at children. While we have a long way to ago, advocacy with AHA means we can make even more changes in the future. The AHA has shown me what true power comes from when hard work meets teamwork.

As fellow Pittsburgh native Andrew Carnegie said, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organization objectives. It’s the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results”. I look forward to continuing to accomplish these “uncommon results” with this team."

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