Three Central Massachusetts medical professionals honored with 2024 Heart of Gold Awards

The American Heart Association proudly recognized three exceptional individuals for their outstanding contributions to the health and well-being of the region at the recent Central Massachusetts Heart and Stroke Ball. The 2024 Heart of Gold Awards were presented to these deserving recipients during a ceremony held at Mechanics Hall in Worcester on February 16.

The Heart of Gold Awards, bestowed annually by the American Heart Association, honor individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary dedication and impact within the community. This year, the awards were presented in three categories: Community Leader, Heart and Vascular Medical Professional and Neurology Medical Professional.

The recipients of the 2024 Heart of Gold Awards are as follows:

Mark Clark

Community Leader Award: Mark Clark, program coordinator for the Cardiovascular Fitness and Prevention Program at Saint Vincent Hospital

  • Mark Clark has been honored for his commitment to cardiac patients in Central Massachusetts. In a region where cardiac rehabilitation programs are scarce, Clark’s dedication has been instrumental in ensuring crucial support and guidance for patients. Beyond his work at Saint Vincent Hospital, Clark extends his expertise to the broader community, serving patients from various counties and hospitals, including UMass Memorial Medical Center. His leadership and the dedication of his team in cardiac rehab have significantly contributed to the success of cardiac care in the region.
Dr. Jeffrey Rade

Heart and Vascular Medical Professional Award: Dr. Jeffrey Rade, medical director of the Heart and Vascular Interventional Laboratory, UMass Memorial Medical Center; professor of medicine at UMass Chan Medical School

  • Dr. Jeffrey Rade has been honored for his outstanding leadership and contributions to cardiovascular patient care. Dr. Rade’s role in overseeing the STEMI PCI service at UMass Memorial Medical Center has resulted in life-saving interventions for over 250 patients annually. His leadership and dedication to advancing cardiovascular research and patient care have significantly improved outcomes for cardiovascular patients in Central Massachusetts and its surrounding areas.
Dr. Anthony Izzo

Neurology Medical Professional Award: Dr. Anthony Izzo, medical director of the Sleep Center at Saint Vincent Hospital

  • Dr. Anthony Izzo, a nationally acclaimed sleep specialist, has been honored for his expertise in understanding the correlation between sleep disorders and cardiovascular risks, particularly in relation to stroke. Dr. Izzo’s advocacy efforts, including media appearances and testimonies at legislative hearings, have raised awareness about the detrimental impact of sleep disorders on health. His compassionate care and advocacy have earned him recognition from colleagues and caregivers alike.

“The American Heart Association extends its sincerest congratulations to Mark Clark, Dr. Jeffrey Rade, and Dr. Anthony Izzo for their outstanding contributions to the health and vitality of the Central Massachusetts community,” said Dr. Michele Tantillo Sinopoli, chair of the Central Massachusetts Heart and Stroke Ball and chief medical officer for Saint Vincent Hospital and MetroWest Medical Center. “Their steadfast dedication and unwavering commitment serve as beacons of inspiration for us all.”