Paul J. Mather, MD standing at a podium, speaking. He is wearing a black tie suit.
Paul J. Mather, MD, giving his speech. Photo credit: Peter Fitzpatrick/AL DÍA.

American Heart Association hosts its 2023 “Heart Ball”


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On Friday, April 24, 2023, the American Heart Association hosted its annual Heart Ball, both a fundraiser event and celebration of the Association's sponsors and honorees.

As heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death worldwide, the Association was founded in order to combat heart disease and stroke. 

Since its inception, it has grown from its six cardiologist founders to encompass over 35 million volunteers and 2,900 employees.

Hosted in the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, the Heart Ball hosted live music performances, several speeches by prominent figures in the Association, a silent auction, and opportunities for philanthropic donations to the Association.

One of the Association's highest honors is the Edward S. Cooper, MD Award, presented to a researcher, medical professional, or an organization who has made significant and exemplary contributions to the Philadelphia community. 

Present in the audience was the eponymous Edward S. Cooper, attending the Heart Ball with his daughter.

Dr. Cooper is a world-renowned physician and has pioneered understanding and treating hypertension and stroke. He was the first African-American to serve as national president of the Association, and is an Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

During his 30 years of service with the Association, Dr. Cooper addressed the special health education and care needs for diverse communities, and as a member from an underrepresented group, actively sought to recruit members from underrepresented communities into the medical field.

The 2023 Edward S. Cooper, MD Award was presented to Paul J. Mather, MD. 

“Your kindly and thoughtful eloquence has been a guide to us for years, and you are leaving a lasting and permanent impact on all of us,” Dr. Mather said during his acceptance speech, speaking of Dr. Cooper’s impact.

Dr. Mather is a professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the division director of faculty development, and a Physician Leader of Heart Failure Disease Management at Penn Medicine.

His volunteer work with the Association began as an expression of gratitude for funding his research as a young investigator in 1993. He has served as the local board president in Greater Philadelphia for the Association, and as regional board president for the former Great Rivers Affiliate.

Dr. Mather has been in practice for more than 20 years, and received his medical degree from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.

In 2024, the American Heart Association will celebrate their 100th anniversary of operation.

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