Culminating with Heart Ball in June, campaign seeks to improve health outcomes by focusing on CPR, reducing barriers and inequities to healthcare
The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, has named Dr. George Bittar as its chair of the Heart of Maryland campaign.
Bittar is the regional medical director for ambulatory cardiology for MedStar Health in Baltimore. He has practiced at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital for more than 30 years and is a prior chief of the medical staff at that institution.
In his role as chair of the Heart of Maryland, Bittar leads the AHA’s efforts driving equitable health for every member of our Baltimore and Greater Maryland communities, with a particular focus on increasing awareness of lifesaving CPR skills, which are foundational to the work of the American Heart Association.
The Heart of Maryland campaign unites supporters year-round with a shared purpose to raise critical awareness, action, and funds to bring the mission and work of the AHA to life.
“The American Heart Association has historically played an extremely important role in funding critical research efforts geared toward the eradication of heart disease, a leading cause of death for men and women of most racial and ethnic groups,” Bittar said.
“By providing educational tools which promote a healthy lifestyle, clinical health outcomes for those afflicted with heart disease are improved, and the overall risk of developing this illness are reduced,” he added.
Bittar will lead the campaign, culminating in the 2022 Baltimore and Greater Maryland Heart Ball, to be held live in person this year in June at The Hyatt on Light Street.
“Like many, I have had several family members who have suffered from cardiovascular disease. As a result, as a medical student and resident, I became interested in cardiology and chose to pursue this field as my career path,” Bittar said.
“I have been fortunate over the years to have had both interventional and consultative practices and realize how important it is to partner with an organization that shares similar goals and aspirations. As a professional, I believe that it is very important to help champion a cause that so directly impacts many people. To that end, I’m proud to participate in the Maryland campaign and Heart Ball.”
The annual Heart Ball is the celebration of the American Heart Association’s collective success in driving change, funding science, championing healthy behaviors in the community and honoring survivors of heart disease and stroke.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Bittar’s experience, conviction and passion to help raise critical funds to advance the science and the policies that will lead to longer, healthier lives for all, and make a crucial impact here in Maryland,” said Tracy Brazelton, executive director of the American Heart Association of Baltimore and Greater Maryland.
The dollars raised by the Heart of Maryland campaign fund the mission of the American Heart Association to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives while supporting priority issues in our communities of Baltimore and Greater Maryland.
Bittar is working with a committee of volunteer business leaders to raise funds to support lifesaving programs, education, and clinical and nutritional support that is changing our friends’ and neighbors lives for the better every day. The campaign propels work in support of the Association’s 2024 Health Equity Impact Goal, reducing barriers to health care access and quality.
“No one would deny the importance of finding a means to reduce cardiac risk. I would encourage everyone to find a way to be ambassadors and work with the AHA either by donating well-needed funds, ideas or time,” Bittar said.
Wayne, a lifelong Marylander, is the communications director for the American Heart Association serving Baltimore and Greater Maryland. Reach him at email@example.com.