San Jose American Heart Association
The AHA’s goal in San Jose is to promote healthy lives which will decrease the deaths caused by sudden heart attacks and strokes. The organization has its roots all the way back to 1915 when a group of physicians and social workers established the Association for the Prevention and Relief of Heart Disease. In those early years very little was known about these diseases and patients had no medical options but bed rest.
Both the organization and the understanding of these complex diseases have changed dramatically in the last 93 years. The first association evolved quickly into the American Heart Association in 1924 with a group of cardiologists who were alarmed at the lack of understanding of these crippling diseases that left physicians with no help for their patients. For the next 24 years the organization focused exclusively on physicians and scientists to help bring more interest and research into the field of heart disease, its causes and new options for treatment.
Research led to a better understanding of the role that high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol play in heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. This new information quickly drew the attention of drug companies that searched for ways to reduce these important cardiovascular disease risk factors. Today many people are leading healthy and active lives from the work that the San Jose American Heart Association did to bring national attention to the importance of healthy lifestyles and research that created options for the use of new drugs to help keep us health.
In the 1940s it became clear that the organization needed to reach out to the public. The public needed to know that there were many things they could do to prevent and manage these conditions. Science began to show that lifestyle plays a tremendous role in both developing cardiovascular diseases and preventing them. The public needed to know that each and every person could impact their own cardiovascular health. What a powerful message. However, building an organization committed to the task of public cardiovascular education needed more money and the business skills to raise and manage this much bigger mission. The association reorganized to better serve the future of cardiovascular health and treatment, a future the American Heart Association in San Jose helped create.
The association launched the first public awareness campaign in 1948. There was tremendous public response in San Jose and across the Bay Area and thousands of people began making donations to support their work. In the last 60+ years the association has played an important role in supporting research and increasing public awareness through education programs that reach into communities and touch millions of people. Today there is an incredible amount of information on the web, in health magazines, provided by healthcare professionals and exchanged in every day conversations people have about their health. There is still much more work to be done. People need to take the information that is available to them and translate it into changes in their lifestyle. And, the American Heart Association will continue to be a strong voice in public health.
The San Jose American Heart Association provides certification classes in CPR, First-aid, BLS, ACLS and other training courses.