To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Donald Led Duke Heart Hero Award, the American Heart Association will present the 2023 award to Dr. John Bennett, president and CEO of CDPHP.
“Criteria for the Donald Led Duke Heart Hero award includes achievement in areas of health care, especially heart disease or stroke, support for the mission of the American Heart Association, and civic efforts that have an impact on the Capital Region,” said Kaweeda Adams, chair of the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association. “Dr. Bennett’s work as a cardiologist, as president and CEO of CDPHP, and as a leader of American Heart Association events and initiatives make him the undisputed choice for this award.”
Dr. Bennett has chaired two Heart Walks and one Heart Ball for the American Heart Association. He and his wife, Deborah, are members of the Cor Vitae Society, making a significant personal contribution to the American Heart Association. Dr. Bennett has also supported other CDPHP staff as they have served in leadership positions at American Heart Association events or on the local board.
As president and CEO of CDPHP, Dr. Bennett’s work affects the health of hundreds of thousands of Capital Region residents.
“In addition to the health benefits that members of CDPHP receive, initiatives like CDPHP Cycle! make it easier for more members of the community to get physical exercise by using the bikes placed throughout the community. The American Heart Association has been proud to be part of community health events that CDPHP hosts,” Adams said. “CDPHP has hosted ‘Glow Red’ ceremonies for us, when we illuminate the Capital Region red to raise awareness about heart disease in women, and CDPHP and their staff have contributed significantly to fundraising for the American Heart Association. This means that we can continue to fund lifesaving research here in the Capital Region – and beyond.”
“I am immensely proud and humbled to be this year’s recipient of the Donald Led Duke Heart Hero Award from the American Heart Association, an organization I have fiercely supported since my very first years practicing cardiology in our great region,” said John D. Bennett, MD, president and CEO of CDPHP. “Now, as a health plan president and CEO, I look to the American Heart Association to provide the heart-healthy programming, research, and education needed to keep CDPHP members – and our entire community –healthy, happy, safe, and secure. I cannot say ‘thank you’ enough for this great honor,” added Bennett.
Dr. Bennett has been president and CEO of CDPHP since 2008. Before that, he served as founding member and CEO of Prime Care Physicians, PLLC. He earned his medical degree at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, and a Bachelor of Science degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Bennett completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Albany Medical Center. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Physicians.
Dr. Bennett and his wife, Deborah, live in Loudonville. They have two children and four grandchildren.
In 2012, the American Heart Association honored Donald Led Duke posthumously after he passed away of a sudden heart attack. In 2013, James J. Barba, president emeritus of Albany Medical Center, honored his friend whose career had changed much of the face of the Capital Region, by creating the Donald Led Duke Heart Hero Award.
The Heart of the Capital Region Heart Ball, with its theme of “Bring a Ball to the Ball,” is set for Friday, March 3, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Albany Capital Center. Joe Mendrick, 22, of Colonie, who suffered commotio cordis when he was 11, will share his story at the Heart Ball. The Executive Leadership Team of the Capital Region Heart Ball includes:
- Michael Castellana, Broadview
- Peter Connolly, General Manager, the Mercedes-Benz Center at Keeler Motor Car Company
- Graig R. Eastin, Albany Medical Center
- John Nigro, Nigro Companies
- Peter Semenza, St. Peter’s Health Partners
- Elizabeth Warner, MD, FACC, FACP, CDPHP
About the Heart of the Capital Region Heart Ball
The Heart of the Capital Region Heart Ball is set for Friday, March 3, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Albany Capital Center, 55 Eagle St., Albany. Guests are encouraged to “Bring a Ball to the Ball.” Balls will be donated to local schools to help children get activity during the day. Dr. John D. Bennett, president and CEO of CDPHP, will receive the Donald Led Duke Heart Hero Award. Joe Mendrick, 22, who suffered commotio cordis when he was 11, will share his story. Chet Davis of CBS 6 will be the emcee. here will be a cocktail hour, silent auction, live auction and a survivor speaker. The event is Black Tie Preferred. Albany Med Health System is the Live Fierce sponsor of the American Heart Association. Local sponsors of the Heart Ball include Broadview Federal Credit Union, BBL/Columbia, Keeler Motor Car Company, CDPHP, RPI, CBS 6, the Times Union and B95.5. For information, to sponsor or purchase a ticket, visit event.gives/heartball518.