George Howard

George Howard, DrPH, FAHA, Distinguished Professor of Biostatistics at the UAB School of Public Health, was recently named the recipient of the American Heart Association’s Stroke Council Award and Lecture at the 2020 Stroke Council Scientific Sessions.

The Stroke Council Award and Lecture recognizes and encourages those who actively work to integrate stroke and heart disease in clinical care, education, or research. Individuals committed to promoting wider recognition of stroke in the cardiovascular community and of heart disease in the stroke community are recognized for their unique efforts to promote the mission of the AHA.

Dr. Howard was awarded this prestigious honor in response to his recent lecture focused on interventions to reduce stroke disparities. The lecture, titled “Where to Target Interventions to Reduce Stroke Disparities…Prevention or Treatment?” took a deep dive into the case that public health work in communities, rather than formal medicine in hospitals, might be the solution to the disparities in the burden of stroke. This concept coincides with Dr. Howard’s work as a Co-Principal Investigator for the REGARDS Study (Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke), featuring three principal co-investigators from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health. REGARDS is a national study focused on investigating the factors that increase a person’s risk of having a stroke, include age, location, and race.

“The disparities in stroke mortality have been well-documented for over 70 years, and there has been little progress to reduce these burdens that fall heavily on African Americans and Southerners,” said Dr. George Howard. “We need to be thoughtful and strategic to win this battle … and it is past time to start making a difference.”

The American Heart Association's mission is "to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives." The Stroke Council, one of 16 scientific councils within the American Heart Association, is uniquely dedicated to advancing the science of stroke prevention, treatment and recovery through research and education.

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