The American Heart Association has announced two gifts totaling $11.45 million to establish new centers within its Strategically Focused Research Network for Atrial Fibrillation.
The gifts — $5.2 million from Sarah (Sally) Ross Soter and her husband, Bill Soter, and $6.25 million from philanthropists Joe and Linda Chlapaty — will be used to establish centers within the research network and improve the health and well-being of residents of Palm Beach, Florida, and Columbus, Ohio. According to AHA, 6.1 million people in the United States live with atrial fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm caused by rapid or irregular beating of the heart's atria that increases the risk of blood clots, and that figure is expected to double by 2030.
The Sarah Ross Soter Center for A-Fib will work to improve health outcomes for those living with A-Fib through research and by providing collaborative grants to network partners, while the Joe and Linda Chlapaty Center will be home to a Decision-Making and Choices to Inform Dialogue and Empower A-Fib Patients (DECIDE) Center within the network.
"The American Heart Association is so grateful and incredibly humbled by the most recent generosity of these deeply personal gifts from longtime supporters, Sally and Bill Soter and Joe and Linda Chlapaty," said AHA chief executive Nancy Brown. "The centers will bring needed attention and funding that will ultimately help the millions, like Sally and Joe, living with A-Fib and improve their quality of life."