Penn Medicine Cardiologist is Honored with American Heart Association Top Award: 2023 Edward S. Cooper, MD Award

The American Heart Association, the largest voluntary health organization fighting cardiovascular diseases, announces Paul J. Mather, MD, as the 2023 recipient of the Edward. S. Cooper, MD Award.

The award is named for Dr. Edward S. Cooper, a world-renowned physician and a pioneer in hypertension and stroke and the first African American to serve as national president of the American Heart Association. Edward S. Cooper, MD, is Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Cooper served the American Heart Association for 30 years. Dr. Cooper helped to address the special health care needs of people of color. He placed particular emphasis on preventive health care and health education for minorities, who are six times more likely to die from heart disease than white Americans. As a member of an under-represented group of Americans in the healthcare profession, he actively recruited other minorities to the medical field.

The Edward S. Cooper, M.D. Award is presented by the American Heart Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania to a researcher, medical professional, or organization whose many outstanding contributions to the Philadelphia community exemplify the best of humankind.

“I am very grateful and honored to receive an award named after one of my heroes Dr. Edward Cooper. Dr. Cooper has taught us that a good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge”

Dr. Paul J. Mather is a professor of Clinical Medicine, Physician Leader, Heart Failure Disease Management, University of Pennsylvania Health System Director, Faculty Development, Division of Cardiology. He received his medical degree from Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Dr. Mather has been an instrumental volunteer for the American Heart Association and a champion for heart health and has served in leadership roles as local board president in Greater Philadelphia and regional board president for the former Great Rivers Affiliate.

He first volunteered with the Association because he was grateful the organization had funded his research as a young investigator in 1993. He also believed in the Association’s public health mission.

In 2018, Dr. Mather spearheaded an effort at a West Philadelphia church to address social determinants of health – conditions where people live, learn, work, and play, that affect their health risks and outcomes. Prior to that, he also led efforts to bring blood pressure screenings sees patients, many of whom have heart failure or have received a heart transplant.

Dr. Mather joins a group of changemakers who have received this honor in the past:

Dr. Kenneth Margulies, 2022

Dr. Deborah Crabbe, 2021

W.W. Smith Charitable Trust, 2020

Dr. Steven Houser, 2019

Dr. Robert H. Rosenwasser, 2018

Dr. Thomas L. Spray, 2017

Dr. Mariell Jessup, 2016

Dr. Peter R. Kowey, 2015

Dr. Morris Kotler, 2014

Dr. Victoria L. Vetter, 2013

Dr. Howard H. Weitz, 2012

Dr. Andrew Wechsler, 2011

Dr. William S. Frankl, 2010

Dr. John W. Hirshfeld, 2009

 Each year the award is presented the American Heart Association’s Annual Heart Ball and the recipient is honored during the event. The 66th Philadelphia Heart Ball will be held at the Philadelphia Marriot Downtown on April 21, 2023.