The American Heart Association (AHA) presented its 2016 Gold Heart Award to Gordon Tomaselli, professor and chief of the Division of Cardiology and co-director of the Heart and Vascular Institute, at the Gold Heart Banquet in Dallas on June 21. The Gold Heart Award is the highest honor the association gives in recognition of continued, distinguished service.

Gordon was president of the AHA from 2011-2012 and was chairperson of the Committee on Scientific Sessions Program and the Science Advisory and Coordinating Committee. He has had a profound impact on the association through his tireless dedication to initiatives focused on healthcare quality improvement, hospital accreditation, science acceleration and professional education. He is also a dedicated local volunteer and spokesperson for the Great Maryland American Heart Association, and for the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate of the AHA.

As AHA President, Gordon championed an increased emphasis on research and mission-aligned innovation. During his tenure, the AHA enhanced its partnership with the Joint Commission to include certification of Primary Stroke Centers and Heart Failure Programs, and began collaborating with the Society of Chest Pain Centers to establish the Mission: Lifeline Heart Attack Referring/Receiving Center Accreditation program. He provided key support as the Association launched its Science Accelerator Initiative to develop promising medical technologies. He also oversaw the launch of the AHA’s first open-access journal, Journal of the American Heart Association. As Chairperson of the 2010/13 Strategic Planning Task Force, he was instrumental in creating the framework strategy for achieving the AHA’s 2020 Impact Goal.

He began volunteering in 1992 when he joined the former Maryland Affiliate’s Peer Review Subcommittee. He remains closely engaged at the local level, helping Baltimore become the first AHA market to open a Teaching Kitchen and championing the Baltimore board’s successful effort to achieve Gold Standard Board recognition.

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