American Heart Association Ethics Policy Details

Updated:Oct 24,2012

The purpose for this ethics policy is to support a culture of openness, trust, and integrity in all American Heart Association management and business practices.  A well understood ethics policy requires the participation and support of every AHA volunteer and employee.

At the American Heart Association, we are dedicated to working with our volunteers, employees, partners, vendors and customers to reduce disability and death from cardiovascular diseases and stroke.  We are committed to conducting all of the AHA’s affairs and activities with the highest standards of ethical conduct.  The AHA Code of Conduct in the Human Resources Policy Manual provides guidance for decisions and actions during our daily work.

We are committed to the responsible use of AHA assets; to provide accurate, complete and objective information; to respect the confidentiality of financial and other information; to act in good faith and exercise due care in all we do; to comply with all rules and regulations, and to proactively promote ethical behavior.

The AHA’s Ethics are built on the AHA’s Core Values.  As such, we acknowledge our individual responsibility to ensure our collective success by practicing and promoting the following values which reflect a shared view of how we want to operate and be seen by others.

Our Values

Integrity:  We pursue our mission with honor, fairness and respect for the individual, ever mindful that there is no “right way” to do the “wrong thing.”  We uphold the values of the AHA in every action and decision.  We are committed to act in good faith, to comply with the rule of law and with AHA policies and standards.

Excellence:  We believe that striving to be the best in our work, our relationships, our ideas, and our services is the greatest demonstration of our pledge to customer satisfaction.  We are determined to do the best at what matters most.  Our success depends on our employees’ and volunteers’ ability to deliver the level of consistent excellence expected by all who rely on us.

Vision:  In an effort to support our mission, we are willing to take prudent risks.  We strive to be proactive, innovative and creative in all we do.

Dedication:  We remain dedicated to our customers and our cause. We hold ourselves to the same standards of excellence that make the AHA a premier organization. We are committed to discovery and continuous improvement in developing and implementing our programs, products and services.

Inclusiveness:  We are dedicated to a single purpose, fueled by a diversity of thought and action. We serve responsibly as members of all the communities in which we live and work. Our intent is for our employees and volunteers to represent our diverse population, so we can maximize the relationship between our customers and the AHA.

Sensitivity:  We value our AHA employees, volunteers and customers and treat them with respect as individuals.  We operate in a climate of openness and trust in which each of us fully grants others respect and cooperation.

Our People

The AHA is committed to provide a work environment that values diversity among its volunteers and employees.  All Human Resource policies and activities are intended to create a respectful workplace where every individual has the opportunity to reach their highest potential.

Employees are provided opportunities regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, veteran status or disability. These policies apply to both applicants and employees in all phases of employment including, recruiting, hiring, placement, training, development, transfer, promotion, demotion, performance reviews, compensation, benefits and separation from employment.

We will evaluate how we are living up to our code of ethics by requesting feedback on a regular basis from our employees, volunteers and customers. We will provide all of our stakeholders a mechanism to report unethical conduct. We will begin with employee orientation and regularly communicate all of these expectations to employees and volunteers.

AHA volunteers, employees, contractors and suppliers are expected to report any practices or actions believed to be inappropriate to their supervisor, another AHA leader, the Human Resources department, or via the AHA ethics hotline.

Our Customers

We are dedicated to 100% customer satisfaction.   We are devoted to developing “customer enthusiasm” and are passionate about exceeding customer expectations. We dedicate ourselves to anticipating the changing needs of customers and creating timely, innovative and superior programs, products and services.

Fraud

Fraud is defined as any intentional act or omission designed to deceive others, resulting in the victim suffering a loss and/or the perpetrator achieving a gain.  The AHA Board of Directors and Senior Management have adopted a “no fraud tolerance” attitude.  In addition to the Board, volunteers, management and staff at all levels of the Association have responsibility for preventing, detecting and reporting fraud.

In addition to the definition of fraud set out above, this policy covers any dishonest or fraudulent act, including but not limited to:

  • Misappropriation of funds, securities, supplies or other assets.
  • Impropriety in the handling or reporting of money or financial transactions.
  • Profiteering as a result of insider knowledge of company plans or activities.
  • Disclosing confidential and proprietary information to outside parties.
  • Intentional, false representation or concealment of a material fact for the purpose of inducing another to act upon it to procure an advantage, benefit or gain.
  • Accepting or seeking anything of material value from contractors, vendors or persons providing services/materials to AHA, unless pursuant to the Acceptance of Gifts Policy.
  • Destruction, removal, or unauthorized use of records, furniture, fixtures, and equipment.
  • Any similar or related irregularity.

Each member of management will be familiar with the types of improprieties that might occur within his or her area of responsibility and be alert for any indication of irregularity.  An employee, volunteer, consultant, vendor, contractor, or outside agency doing business with AHA shall immediately report any irregularity that is detected or suspected, as instructed below under ‘Reporting Ethics Violations.’  Any employee or person who suspects or reports dishonest or fraudulent activity shall not attempt to personally conduct investigations or interviews related to any suspected fraudulent act.  Investigations will be coordinated with the Legal Department and other affected groups, both internal and external.  For additional information regarding fraudulent activities, refer to the AHA Fraud Risk Management Program.

Conflict of Interest

[see AHA Conflict of Interest Standards]

Association's Property and Information

Employees and volunteers are expected to protect the AHA’s property at all times; including cash, equipment, records, employee, and customer information.  This also requires employees and volunteers to maintain confidentiality regarding AHA records, and employee and customer information.

Reporting Ethics Violations

If you have questions or concerns about compliance with the subject described in this policy, or are unsure about what is the “right thing” to do, we strongly encourage you to first talk with your supervisor, another AHA Leader or the Human Resources department.  If for any reason you are uncomfortable talking to any of these individuals, call the AHA ethics hotline at 866-293-2427 to report your concerns.  Your calls will be handled in confidence.