It is with the recognition of the essential contribution of the councils to the scientific and administrative goals of the AHA that we recognize the value of the councils and attribute a significant monetary value for the services rendered by the councils in support of the mission of the association to “To build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.” Council contributions to the AHA mission include:
- Council representatives serve on the national and affiliate research committees and their study sections to peer review grant applications and determine how to allocate research support each year.
- Council members contribute to the pool of scientists who serve as AHA journal reviewers, editors, and editorial board members.
- Council members are instrumental in determining the nature and scope of professional education activities, including scientific sessions, scientific conferences, and other professional education efforts. The Committee on Scientific Sessions Program is comprised of scientific council members, who are responsible for grading abstracts, selecting plenaries, cardiovascular seminars and how-to sessions, and putting together the entire program. Also, each of the 16 scientific council program committees solicits and rank plenary, cardiovascular seminars and how-to sessions from their members. Further, approximately 1/3 of the attendance at Scientific Sessions is made up of council members.
- Council science subcommittees and other council members are responsible for determining at which point knowledge can be incorporated into scientific statements and advisories, and serving on these writing groups. Council members also serve as peer reviewers for AHA scientific statements and science advisories.
- Council members provide input into community-based public education programs offered by AHA affiliates across the country. Some Councils have liaisons to the affiliates to assist them in their scientific endeavors. Council members also assist AHA staff in writing, reviewing, and updating public education materials and portions of the AHA website.
- Additionally, they monitor the state of the art in their disciplines and offer advice and guidance in developing testimony for FDA, NIH, etc., as well as AHA advocacy efforts.
- Finally, the scientific councils serve as a core of individuals from which members of association-wide committees, such as the Clinical Science, Population Science, and Basic Science Committees, SACC, Professional Education Committee, Research Committee, and Advocacy Coordinating Committee, as well as the national officers, are chosen.