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Raymond Vara, Jr. and Donald Lloyd-Jones

American Heart Association names new national volunteer chairman and president
July 20, 2021
DALLAS, July 1, 2021 — The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, named Raymond P. Vara, Jr. chairman and Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScM, FAHA, as president of the organization for its 2021-2022 fiscal year, which begins today.

Raymond P. Vara, Jr., who will serve as the volunteer chairman of the board, is the president and CEO of Hawai`i Pacific Health in Honolulu, Hawai`i. Vara has a long history of service to the American Heart Association in key volunteer leadership roles. He served as treasurer of the Association from 2015-19 during which he was responsible for the funds and securities of the Association. He has been the chairperson of the Association’s Corporate Operations Coordinating Committee, Business Solutions Oversight Committee and Budget Review Subcommittee, a member of the Audit Committee, and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2012. He was the 2009-11 chairman of the Association’s former Pacific Mountain Affiliate and served on the Western States board for five years beginning in 2010-2011. Vara is the first person from Hawaii to serve as chair of the national Board of Directors and will hold the position for the typical two-year term.

“Health starts in our homes, schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. Making a healthy impact on each of these, and setting measurable goals to do so, will be crucial for me as chairman. I plan to play a pivotal role in the advancement of the Association’s mission by applying my knowledge of the American healthcare system to further our work in creating healthier communities through improved access to care and clinical quality, while eliminating disparities and inequities.”

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Lloyd-Jones, who will be the 85th president, is among the world’s most highly regarded experts in cardiovascular disease prevention and epidemiology. His volunteer leadership has had a profound impact on the Association’s efforts to improve patient outcomes and create healthier communities across the nation for more than two decades. Lloyd-Jones is the chair of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He is also the university’s Eileen M. Foell professor of heart research and professor of preventive medicine, medicine-cardiology and pediatrics. An Association volunteer since 1997, Lloyd-Jones recently served as the chair of the Committee on Scientific Sessions Program and is a member of the Science Advisory & Coordinating Committee. As chairperson of the Strategic Goals Subcommittee, his vision was critical to creating the Association’s first-ever definition of ideal cardiovascular health, as well as the criteria for the “Life’s Simple 7” health metrics. He has also provided invaluable guidance as a science advisor to the AHA’s CEO Roundtable and as the president of the Midwest Affiliate and member of the Workplace Health Steering Committee July 2015 – June 2017. He was named the Association’s Physician of the Year in 2017.

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