Council Officer Qualification

Updated:Feb 22,2013
There has become a need to address situations in which government or industry employees are elected to serve as officers of Councils.

AHA does not allow situations where individuals, their institutions or the AHA can be viewed as having conflicts.

In order to protect all parties, disclosure, recusal from actual or reasonably perceived conflicts, and compliance with the AHA Conflict of Interest Standards is required. COI and perceived conflict must be disclosed upfront at the beginning of the relationship.

Examples of conversations within Council meetings that may require recusal:
(Depends on the organization the individual is representing).

  • Advocacy discussions involving but not limited to:
    • AHA positions on advocacy and public policy issues
    • Lobby Day
    • Leadership participation in advocacy
    • Sending survivors to the Hill
    • Council enrollment in the You’re the Cure network
  • Financial discussions involving but not limited to:
    • Dollars for membership activities
    • Approving funding requests for conferences
    • Travel scholarships for survivors to Lobby Day
  • Science discussions on a case-by-case basis excluding times when the organization has a conflicting view with the AHA on an issue.
  • High level science discussions as a member of SACC.


Councils desiring to elevate a government or industry employee to the level of officer shall comply with the following policy statements:

  • Full-time employees in industry cannot serve as officers on council leadership committees or as chairs of science subcommittees.
  • For full-time government employees, AHA legal counsel and COC will review councils' requests to serve as officers on council leadership committees and/or chairs of science subcommittees. If the appointment is deemed appropriate, COC will outline the conditions of service to the nominee in writing, specifying disclosure and recusal policies relevant to their appointment.
  • Final decisions will be communicated back to the council chair.

Statements and Guidelines

Statements and Guidelines

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association issues scientific statements and clinical guidelines on various cardiovascular disease and stroke topics. 

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