South Florida Celebrates a Century of Heartfelt Commitment with the American Heart Association

As the American Heart Association (AHA) marks its centennial, the South Florida community comes together to celebrate 100 years of groundbreaking progress in the fight against heart disease and stroke. Since its founding on June 10, 1924, the AHA has achieved remarkable success, cutting cardiovascular disease deaths in the United States by half.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of American Heart Association (AHA)

This milestone is a testament to the unwavering dedication of countless individuals, organizations, and communities. Over the past century, the AHA has revolutionized heart health through scientific discovery, advocacy, and community engagement. South Florida, in particular, has been a cornerstone of this movement, contributing significantly to the association’s mission.

A Legacy of Lifesaving Achievements

The AHA’s century-long journey is marked by substantial achievements. With over $5.7 billion invested in cardiovascular research—making it the largest non-governmental funder in this field—the association has pioneered numerous life-saving interventions and health policies. The historical timeline of the AHA showcases these milestones, highlighting key innovations and advocacy efforts that have reshaped public health.

Heather Havericak, South Florida Board Chairperson and COO of Delray Medical Center emphasizes the ongoing mission: “We realize that our work is not yet finished. The American Heart Association is encouraging every individual, company, school, and community to unite in changing the future of health—not only for ourselves—but for our loved ones and the places we live, work, and play. Today and every day, we can improve health and inspire hope for the future everyone deserves.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy of American Heart Association (AHA)

South Florida’s Bold Hearts and Commitments

In honor of this centennial celebration, 15 prominent South Florida donors have pledged their support to the AHA’s Second Century campaign. Their generous contributions of time, talent, and funds underscore the region’s commitment to advancing heart health. Leading organizations and individuals making significant contributions include:

  • The Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. Foundation
  • CITY Furniture
  • Rita & Rick Case Automotive Group
  • One Beat Medical & Training
  • Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation

These donors, along with many others, are vital to sustaining the AHA’s mission as it enters its next century of innovation and impact.

Dr. Marcus St. John, South Florida Board President and Medical Director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute reflects on the importance of continued support: “As we close out our first 100 years and begin the next, recent risk factor trends and projections indicate our work remains even more important. We know that we can’t achieve our bold goals alone and are grateful to the South Florida community for the passion and commitment they give to support our mission. At the American Heart Association, our future is about improving yours.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy of American Heart Association (AHA)

Looking Ahead: A Future of Health and Hope

As the AHA steps into its second century, the focus remains on enhancing health and extending hope to every community. The association’s future goals are ambitious, yet achievable through collaborative efforts and sustained dedication. The South Florida community’s active participation will be crucial in realizing these aspirations.

To commemorate the centennial, the AHA has released a short film, “24 – a short film from the Heart,” highlighting its accomplishments and ongoing mission. For more information on how to get involved with the Second Century campaign and to view the film, visit or contact