Vermillion doctor leads AHA board of directors

Vermillion doctor leads AHA board of directors The American Heart Association's Northland Affiliate (NLA), comprising of South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin has announced the names of its 2002-2003 board of directors. The board appointments, effective July 1, include Doug Martin, M.D. of Vermillion, who will serve as the board president.

Martin has been a member of the Northland Board of Directors for approximately four years. During that time, Martin has been instrumental in changing the way Northland reviews and distributes heart disease and stroke research grants. His efforts have helped the organization increase the size of the research grants awarded and the number of applicants.

"Our efforts over the past several years have made our research grants more appealing to researchers working in the field of cardiovascular disease," said Martin. "This is important because the more research that we can fund, the closer we will get to reaching coronary heart disease and stroke risk by 25 percent by the year 2010."

During his tenure as board president, one of the areas Martin wants to focus on is changing the public's perception of heart disease and stroke.

"Many people think it's inevitable that they will get heart disease or stroke, or that these diseases only affect those who are old," said Martin. "These misperceptions are dangerous because they cause people to become complacent. We need to continue to educate people that heart disease and stroke strike the young and old alike, and there are steps everyone can take to reduce their risk."

The NLA's board of directors is responsible for overseeing and directing the performance of the affiliate. Among their activities, the board of directors is responsible for approving the annual budget; determining the affiliate's priorities; overseeing all issues and initiatives; reviewing organizational policies and long-range goals; delegating the implementation of operational policies; and promoting and protecting the AHA's image.

Nationwide, the American Heart Association spent nearly $382 million during the fiscal year 2000-2001 on research support, public and professional education and community programs. The organization has grown to include more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters who carry out its mission in communities across the country. It is the largest nonprofit voluntary health organization fighting heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, which annually kill approximately 960,000 Americans.

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