Michael Bloomberg's wide-ranging efforts to promote health are honored

By American Heart Association News

Michael Bloomberg (center) with Ron Haddock (left) and AHA president Nancy Brown.
Michael Bloomberg (center) with Rod Haddock (left) and AHA CEO Nancy Brown.

The American Heart Association is honoring former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his worldwide efforts to save lives by fighting smoking and overconsumption of sugary drinks.

Bloomberg was named winner of the Ron Haddock American Heart Association/American Stroke Association International Impact Award in 2017. AHA CEO Nancy Brown and Haddock – a longtime volunteer, member of the AHA's board of directors and past Chairman of the Board – formally presented the award at Bloomberg's New York offices last Wednesday.

The award honors an individual or group for outstanding contributions to AHA's global efforts.

Bloomberg said he was honored to receive the award.

"Our mission at Bloomberg Philanthropies is simple: To ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people," he said. "The American Heart Association doesn't just share that mission … for more than 90 years, they have blazed the trail."

Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and World Health Organization Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases, was mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013. During his tenure, he championed strategies that became national models, including a ban on smoking indoors and at parks and beaches. In 2013, he also pushed to end the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces, although the portion cap was struck down.

Among his many health-focused efforts, in 2007, he launched a global initiative to reduce tobacco use in low- and middle-income countries. And in 2018, he committed $20 million to monitor and report on deceptive tobacco industry tactics and practices.

Bloomberg Philanthropies supported public health leaders in Mexico who advocated for the successful passage of a 10% tax, and he contributed to help Berkeley, California, pass a sugary beverage tax – the nation's first.

In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies invested $767 million in 510 cities and 129 countries. Over his lifetime, Bloomberg has given more than $8 billion to philanthropic efforts.

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