For the entire month of February, in honor of Black History Month, NBC will showcase essays about Black Americans who pioneered change in United States history during the Civil Rights Movement that led to nationwide desegregation. Philadelphia’s own Dr. Edward S. Cooper, who was named the first Black president of the American Heart Association in 1992, has been identified as a medical change agent. At 94 years old, Dr. Cooper is credited with groundbreaking research on stroke remedies and sealing health gaps for Black Americans, specifically as it relates to stroke treatment and education. During his tenure as AHA president, 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 Caucasians.
Each year, the American Heart Association in Philadelphia honors a local physician, researcher, medical professional, or humanitarian with the Edward S. Cooper Award. This award celebrates those whose many outstanding contributions to the Philadelphia community exemplify the best of humankind, in Dr. Cooper’s honor.
Dr. Cooper is in a class of esteemed pioneers include those who led local efforts to desegregate schools, professionals who forged ahead to become luminaries within their industries, and advocates who stoked the wave of change head-on in the nation’s bid for racial justice and equality.
For more on the NBC Black History Month series https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/national-international/edward-cooper-physicians-work-promoting-equity-in-medicine/2515601/