Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Kentucky Dean Receives AHA Gold Heart Award

Dr. Donna Arnett, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, received the “Gold Heart Award,” the top volunteer award from the American Heart Association, in June 2017.

[Photo: Dr. Donna Arnett]

From the AHA: “Widely recognized for her cutting-edge research on the genetics of hypertension, Dean Donna Arnett, is held in the highest regard for her fervent commitment to improving the health of ALL Americans, her vital, enduring contributions to the advancement of scientific knowledge, and her dedication as a champion of improved workplace health. The author of more than 450 scientific papers, she is Dean and Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Kentucky School of Public Health.”

An AHA volunteer since 1990, Dean Arnett was AHA President in 2012-2013, the first epidemiologist to serve in the role. She is a past Chairperson of the Research Committee (2007-2009), the Science Advisory & Coordinating Committee (2012-2013), and the Scientific Publishing Committee (2009-2011), and was the 2010-2012 President of the Greater Southeast Affiliate.

As AHA President, Dean Arnett championed an increased focus on risk factor prevention to reduce cardiovascular diseases, stroke and other non-communicable diseases. She led the AHA in establishing a new partnership with the Brazilian Society of Cardiology to address cardiovascular disease in the world’s fifth-largest nation, and a new initiative to launch more than 90 AHA Professional Resource Centers in China. Also during her tenure, the AHA launched a hypertension control initiative in more than 50 cities, focused on African-Americans, and began the first funded research project of the Science Accelerator Initiative.

As the 2012-2014 Chairperson of the Mission Metrics Task Force, she provided key insights to define and measure our health impact in all communities and across racial and ethnic populations. A member of the Workplace Health Steering Committee since 2015, her guidance has been vital in launching the AHA’s Workplace Health Achievement Index, a continuous quality improvement tool for employers, and in creating the National Workplace Health Summit at Scientific Sessions. She received the Association’s Award of Meritorious Achievement in 2005 for her leadership of the Second International Conference on Women and Cardiovascular Disease and the Functional Genomics & Translational Biology Interdisciplinary Working Group.

The AHA annually confers the Gold Heart Award upon select individuals who have rendered the most distinguished service in advancing the objectives of the AHA nationally. Recipients are chosen primarily for their continued and significant contributions to the AHA and its programs. It is the highest award the AHA gives to its volunteers.

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