American Heart Association releases Boston 2020 Impact Report

Click the image below to view the Boston 2020 Impact Report.
Scroll down for a message from our executive director.

Dear friends and supporters,

Before the American Heart Association existed, people with cardiovascular diseases were often doomed to complete bed rest — or worse. But a handful of pioneering physicians believed it didn’t have to be that way.

They founded the American Heart Association in 1924 and conducted studies right here in Boston to learn more about heart disease and stroke.

One of those physicians was Dr. Paul Dudley White. He was born in Roxbury and went on to have a remarkable career practicing medicine in the city.

Since that time, the Association’s work has increasingly focused on the relentless pursuit of longer, healthier lives for all Americans in all communities. That work is happening in Boston right now. Whether it’s investing in social entrepreneurs to confront the challenge of food deserts in Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester, or advocating on Beacon Hill for public policies that ensure all Massachusetts residents can live their healthiest lives, the American Heart Association has made the pursuit of health equity a priority.

Did you know that in parts of the Back Bay, residents live to 92, on average, while in areas of Roxbury, the average lifespan is only 59? This disparity has been exacerbated as COVID-19 disproportionately affects communities of color. As the American Heart Association prepares to turn 100 in 2024, we are building a movement to improve life expectancy for everyone in our city.

I wanted to take this moment to share some of the lifesaving work we are doing in our community. I encourage you to read our Boston 2020 Impact Report, ask questions, provide feedback and share ideas. I hope as you continue to learn more about our work, you feel the same sense of pride in the lifesaving mission of the American Heart Association that I do.

The need is urgent, and our time is now.

With heart and gratitude,

Jay H. Blackwell
Executive Director
American Heart Association, Boston