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Stephen R. Daniels, MD, PhD, FAHA, received the Gold Heart Award from the American Heart Association during a ceremony in Dallas on June 23, 2015.
Daniels receives highest honor for outstanding volunteer service
The Gold Heart Award is the American Heart Association’s highest volunteer honor and has been presented to outstanding volunteers every year since 1950. Daniels has committed more than two decades of service to the AHA as a volunteer, served as president of the AHA’s Southwest Affiliate since 2013, and was also member of the organization’s national board of directors from 2008 to 2010. The Gold Heart Award was presented to Daniels for his outstanding contributions supporting initiatives to address childhood obesity.
A leader in advocacy efforts for children's health
“Steve has been critical in our efforts to help reverse the trend of childhood obesity, and is a leader in our advocacy efforts for children’s health,” said Elliott Antman, MD, president of the American Heart Association, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and senior physician in the Cardiovascular Division of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who presented Daniels with the award. “It is my privilege to honor Steve with the Gold Heart Award.”
Key player in reversing childhood obesity
Daniels began early in his career with a passion to help children and families adopt healthier lifestyle changes and established a cholesterol and hypertension clinic in Cincinnati with a group of dietitians, clinicians and psychologists. From there, he expanded to include a weight management clinic and helped families shift their ideas about food and activities.
Daniels has played a vital role in reversing the childhood obesity trend through his service with the AHA, and was key in developing the organization’s relationship with the William J. Clinton Foundation to the form the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Daniels served as Co-Chair of the Alliance’s Healthcare Pillar until 2010; was a member of the Advocacy Coordinating Committee from 2010 to 2012, where he met with Capitol Hill and local legislators on behalf of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, the Child Nutrition Act and the FIT Kids Act; and continues to contribute to science through published research in pediatric hypertension, type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents, severe obesity and sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease and lifestyle medicine. Daniels is the professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and pediatrician-in-chief and L. Joseph Butterfield Chair in Pediatrics at Children’s Colorado.
Along with Daniels, the Gold Heart Award was presented to Debra Lockwood, president and chief financial officer of Provident Resources Group in Baton Rouge, La., and Ralph Sacco, MD, MS, FAHA, professor and Olemberg Chair of Neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.