Captain John D. Potvin receives award for advocacy impact

East Providence Fire Department Captain awarded for impactful advocacy work

The American Heart Association proudly recognizes Captain John D. Potvin with the 2023 Yvonne Heredia Lifetime Achievement Award. Named in honor of former American Heart Association Board Member, Yvonne Heredia, whose passion, and dedication towards heart health in our community impacted many lives. This award is given to someone who, throughout their career, has been hard at work to drive equitable health for every member of our community.

Captain John D. Potvin began his involvement with the American Heart Association over a decade ago and is currently serving as the chair of the Association’s Southern New England Board of Directors.

A passionate and strong supporter of the Association’s mission, Captain Potvin has spent countless hours advocating for health equity for all Connecticut residents. He currently serves as a member of Rhode Island’s Advocacy Board and was a former chair. His persistence and perseverance have led to many victories over the years. Potvin spearheaded the Association’s CPR in Schools campaign; helped secure passage and implementation of the Stroke Prevention and Treatment Act; and helped ensure that 911 operators are prepared to provide CPR instruction over the phone in the event of a cardiac arrest.

Though his passion lies with emergency cardiovascular care, that hasn’t stopped Captain Potvin from fighting for other policy priorities on the prevention side. He also chairs the Rhode Island Ambulance Service Advisory Board and serves on the Rhode Island Stroke Task Force.

“To say that he goes above and beyond as a volunteer is an understatement. His passion for our advocacy initiatives is unparalleled,” said Association Executive Director, Michelle Clark. “He has been instrumental in advocating for change and has spent countless hours at the Rhode Island State House fighting to advance our policy priorities. Because of his commitment and passion, there will be a new generation of lifesavers.”

Captain John Potvin serves as Director of the Division of Emergency Medical Services and Deputy Emergency Management Director for the East Providence Fire Department.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Rhode Island,” said Clark. Without our dedicated volunteers, the work the Association does in our community would not be possible,” said Clark. “We want to sincerely thank Captain John D. Potvin for his dedication and tremendous commitment to making hearts healthier in Southern New England.”

For more information on the American Heart Association’s work go to