Holy Cross Alumnus Honored By American Heart Association for National Leadership

Robert Harrington, M.D., ’82

Robert Harrington, M.D., '82 receives the Distinguished National Leadership Award for his service

Robert Harrington, M.D., '82, recent past president of the American Heart Association (AHA), has been honored with the organization's Distinguished National Leadership Award for his service.

As the AHA’s 83rd president, Harrington's term coincided with the emergence and outbreak of COVID-19, which meant leading the organization during an international health crisis. He completed his term on July 1.

"Bob pointed us in the right direction we needed to go, then kept us on that path," Mariell Jessup, M.D., AHA chief science and medical officer, told heart.org. "He never once said, 'I can’t handle that right now.'"

During his term, Harrington, a Stanford University cardiologist and clinical researcher, was known for amplifying diverse voices to improve health equity, supporting women in medicine and his mantra, "Evidence Matters."

"It was a privilege to serve and lead the almost 40,000 science volunteers of AHA during my presidential year," Harrington said. "While a challenging time throughout society during the global COVID-19 pandemic, AHA stayed true to our foundational values of focusing on providing credible information based on the best science, investing in innovative research to better understand the cardiovascular and stroke risks of COVID, and raising attention to the health inequities in this country."