Policy on Corporate Relationships

Updated:Oct 4,2016

We are glad to hear from you and appreciate your interest in supporting the Mission of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. Please read below to better understand our policy on corporate relationships.

  1. Preamble

    This Policy on Corporate Relationships sets out the standards by which AHA evaluates and approves Corporate Relationships at the local, affiliate and national levels. AHA’s mission is building healthier lives, free from cardiovascular diseases and stroke. AHA works with many different organizations that share AHA’s goal of improving cardiovascular and brain health for every American, including other not-for-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, corporate foundations and government-related entities. While these relationships are essential to AHA reaching its goals for public health, AHA, in accordance with AHA’s Endorsement & Medical Statements policy, must exercise care not to endorse or appear to endorse a commercial product, process, service or enterprise.

  2. Definition of corporate relationship

    A Corporate Relationship is a relationship between AHA and one or more organizations in which AHA – through use of its name, trademark or other intellectual property – is associated with a third party product, brand, process, service or enterprise.

    There are various types of Corporate Relationships including (but not limited to) sponsorships, promotions, strategic relationships, consumer product purchases, licensing, and certification, and these are further defined in the Procedures for Corporate Relationships.

  3. Standards for Corporate Relationship and Use of AHA Brand

    All Corporate Relationships are intended to advance AHA’s mission by providing meaningful benefits to the public, and to be conducted in a manner that enhances AHA’s reputation and the integrity and credibility of the AHA’s name and logos. To that end, AHA will evaluate Corporate Relationships in the context of whether it aligns with AHA’s Guiding Values; AHA’s public policy, science positions and public health goals; and other AHA criteria. AHA will exercise independent judgment in all decision-making related to any Corporate Relationship.

    1. Guiding Values: AHA Guiding Values provide the lens through which AHA evaluates its programs and activities, including its relationships with other organizations.

       
    2. AHA’s Public Policy, Science Positions and Public Health Goals: AHA will evaluate for alignment with AHA’s Public Policy and Science positions, guidelines, and AHA’s public health goals any Corporate Relationship that: 1) involves health-related companies, brands, products, services and processes; or 2) has a health impact; or 3) claims a health benefit. All proposed health-related Corporate Relationships at the local, affiliate or national level will:
      1. be produced, positioned and marketed consistent with AHA’s Public Policies, Science Statements or Guidelines or other AHA health criteria; or
      2. for organizations wanting to improve the health of its products, include contractual commitments to incremental product improvement, developing new healthy products; and/or marketing and advertising healthier Products and behaviors; and
      3. be approved in accordance with the Procedures, and by the AHA Legal Department.

         
    3. Tobacco: AHA will not have relationships with tobacco companies or their corporate subsidiaries, parents or foundations. (“Subsidiary” and “parent” are defined as an entity in which there exists a direct or indirect 5% or greater ownership or control by or of a tobacco company);

       
    4. Health-Related Corporate Relationship: Corporate Relationships that involve health-related companies, brands, products, services and processes, or have health impact or claim health benefits, include but are not limited to:
      1. Liquor, beer and wine;
      2. Candy (including chocolate);
      3. Sugar-sweetened beverages;
      4. Food companies and food brands and products;
      5. Restaurants and restaurant meals;
      6. Pharmaceutical drugs, over the counter drugs, and other non-prescription substances (supplements, vitamins, marijuana, etc.);
      7. Medical devices;
      8. Health-related technology products or services; and
      9. Health plans, hospitals and healthcare providers.

         
    5. AHA Criteria: Corporate Relationships must not materially detract from AHA’s reputation for objectivity, independence, integrity, credibility, social responsibility and accountability or otherwise be inconsistent with the mission and values of AHA. All Corporate Relationships will comply with applicable law, and AHA policies and procedures. All Corporate Relationships and any use of the AHA name or servicemarks or other AHA intellectual property will be documented in a contract approved by the AHA Legal Department.

       
    6. Disclosure: AHA will publicly disclose the nature of a Corporate Relationship, including the amount of the financial contribution to the AHA. Other commercial or competitive information which is customarily subject to non-disclosure restrictions may be treated as confidential when subject to reasonable non-disclosure agreements. Any personal information collected about people participating in corporate-sponsored activities and/or programs is subject to the AHA Privacy Policy.

       
    7. Procedures for Corporate Relationships: The Procedures for Corporate Relationships will set forth the requirements for internal review of proposed Corporate Relationships, and specify those types of local, affiliate, national and international level Corporate Relationships that require review. In addition to any other Corporate Relationships listed in the Procedures, all health-related Corporate Relationships require review as specified in the Procedures. The Procedures for Corporate Relationships shall set out the following:
      1. the types of Corporate Relationships;
      2. the review process, including due diligence review, risk/benefit analysis and compliance with policy;
      3. the approval process, including a definition of companies, brands and/or Corporate Relationships that are pre-approved and those that require affiliate or national level review; and
      4. specific requirements for third party use of AHA’s names and logos.