American Heart Association seats new president and officers as chairman enters 2nd of two-year term

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June 29, 2018

DALLAS, June 29, 2018 — American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, enters its 2018-19 fiscal year on July 1 with Jim Postl returning as chairman, Ivor Benjamin, M.D., serving as president and a cadre of new national board members providing governance support. From pioneering frontiers in precision medicine to accelerating drug discovery, the organization is making significant strides in fulfilling its mission.

Now entering the second of his two-year term as chairman of the board, Jim Postl, retired president and chief executive officer of Houston, Texas-based Pennzoil-Quaker State Company, has been instrumental in the Association’s increasingly global influence in 2017-18. This year, alone, the Association championed legislation expanding access to care for heart attack and stroke patients and released new blood pressure guidelines. The organization also announced four new centers within its vascular disease Strategically Focused Research Networks and six centers in its atrial fibrillation network. An Association volunteer for more than 18 years, Postl has been a member of the national board of directors since 2010.

Ivor Benjamin, M.D., is director of the cardiovascular center of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and has a 30-year volunteer history with the American Heart Association. A highly regarded physician-scientist of molecular cardiovascular remodeling, he is a founding member of the Journal of the American Heart Association and currently serves on the editorial boards of Circulation and Circulation Research. As chair of the American Heart Association research committee from 2015-17, he expanded opportunities in research for women, minorities and undergraduates. Benjamin will serve as the Association’s national chief science and medical volunteer, responsible for medical, scientific and public health matters.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of the American Heart Association and Jim and Ivor’s unwavering commitment, time and compassion inspire endless possibilities to further our mission,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association. “The Association is privileged and honored to have them at the helm as we pioneer innovative solutions that are the hallmark of our work to build a world of healthier and longer lives.

The Association has also announced its 2018-19 volunteer treasurer, chairman-elect and president-elect.

Raymond Vara Jr., president and chief executive officer of Hawaii Pacific Health in Honolulu, begins his fourth year as treasurer. In this role, Vara is responsible for the Association’s funds and securities. In addition, he is the current chairman of the Association’s corporate operations coordinating committee and has been a committee member since 2011. Vara also served as chairman of the Association’s former Pacific Mountain Affiliate from 2009 to 2011.

Bertram L. Scott, who is senior vice president of population health and value-based care at Novant Health of Charlotte, N.C., is serving the second of a two-year term as chairman-elect. Scott has volunteered with the Association on regional and national levels for more than 20 years, including serving on the national board of directors since 2010.

Robert A. Harrington, M.D., an interventional cardiologist and professor of medicine and chairman of the department of medicine at Stanford University, was elected volunteer president-elect. Harrington is a member of the American Heart Association’s science advisory and coordinating committee and served as the chair for the Association’s Scientific Sessions in 2013 and 2014.

Additional Resources:

  • Photographs and video clip are available on the right column of this release.
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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on and .

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