AHA Mission, Vision, and the 12 Essential Elements Guiding our Research Program


Building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

The 2020 Goal

We are working toward improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent, and reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent, all by the year 2020.

Twelve Essential Elements

The AHA Research Program is guided by 12 Essential Elements developed by a broad group of key stakeholders including science volunteers.  These guiding elements were approved by the AHA Board of Directors in 2012.
  1. Develop innovative research models which integrate AHA research values.
  2. Fund both investigator-initiated and strategically-focused research.
  3. Support research in all areas of cardiovascular and stroke science that drive to AHA's 2020 goals and overall Mission.
  4. Identify key questions that if answered could provide extraordinary impact in science and toward Mission.
  5. Ensure funding mechanisms for investigators at all career stages and across disciplines.
  6. Provide programs which in addition to supporting the pursuit of research in question, also facilitate expansion of investigator skills.
  7. Focus peer review on funding outstanding individuals, in addition to excellent science.
  8. Clearly define and report research outcomes to all stakeholders.
  9. Ensure that best practices are used for all governance and operational practices.
  10. Ensure that all stakeholders - researchers, donors and other volunteers - are involved as appropriate in research activities.
  11. Fund research which could provide a return on investment which will be funneled back to fund more future research.
  12. Expand collaboration to leverage research dollars and outcomes.