Hartford, CT – Dr. Garth Graham, president of the Aetna Foundation, is leading the organizational and recruitment efforts for the Hartford area. Dr. Graham will call on thousands of area volunteers, survivors, walkers, and business leaders to step up to reduce disability and death from cardiovascular disease and stroke, the leading cause of death in the United States. In his role at Aetna, Dr. Graham is responsible for the Foundation’s philanthropic work, including its grant-making strategies to improve the health of people from underserved communities and increase their access to high-quality health care.

“As a cardiologist, I know that diverse populations are at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke, and most are not aware of their risk,” said 2015 Hartford Heart Walk Chair, Dr. Garth Graham, president of the Aetna Foundation. “It’s great to be leading an event right here in our community to raise awareness of these facts and raise funds to provide much needed education and research to serve all communities.”

Each day, nearly 2,400 Americans die from a cardiovascular disease. That’s an average of one death every 37 seconds. A leading risk factor for heart attack and stroke is lack of physical activity. Research has found that individuals may gain two hours of life expectancy for every one hour of regular, vigorous exercise they do.

Dr. Graham is a widely recognized researcher, writer and editor on health disparities. He has authored articles that have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Health Affairs and Circulation. He has served on the faculty of the University of Florida School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School. He has also served on a number of boards including Institute of Medicine Board on Population Health, World Health Organization Scientific Group on Equity Analysis and Research, Board of Directors of Physicians for Human Rights and he was appointed to the Federal Coordinating Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research. He was also named the Distinguished Millennium Visiting Scholar at Columbia University.

Dr. Graham holds a medical degree from Yale School of Medicine, a master’s in public health from Yale School of Public Health and a bachelor of science in biology from Florida International University in Miami. He completed clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins where he trained in cardiology and interventional cardiology. He holds three board certifications including internal medicine, cardiology and interventional cardiology. He also serves as an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University Of Connecticut School Of Medicine.

To help Americans move toward better health, the American Heart Association recently began a national movement called My Heart. My Life. My Heart. My Life is a multi-faceted platform with tools and programs designed to guide and influence healthy eating, being physically active, and ultimately improving the health of Americans. The Hartford Heart Walk is part of this initiative.

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To learn more about the 2015 Hartford Heart Walk, or to find out more about sponsorship opportunities, please call American Heart Association Development Director, Wendy Schrlau at 203-303-3317 or go to

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