AHA and CHF Support Research Focused on Congenital Heart Defects


Senator Preston Smith

A former Georgia state senator, Preston Smith served in the office for eight years. Currently, the former senator leads Tyler & Company, an Atlanta-based executive search firm that recruits talent for healthcare, academia, and the health sciences. Alongside his day-to-day professional activities, Preston Smith maintains membership in several healthcare-related organizations, including the American Heart Association (AHA).

In 2014, AHA launched a partnership with the Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) to fund research focused on congenital heart defects (CHD). As part of the seven-year initiative, the two organizations committed $22.5 million to support investigators researching CHDs, which are the most common birth defects in the world and a leading cause of birth-defect-related deaths among infants in the United States.

In a recent press release, AHA and CHF announced the recipients of the third round of funding for CHD research. Five research programs were selected in this round, which will receive a total of $561,798 in grant money. The researchers selected for funding represent academic institutions from across the country, including the University of Chicago, Yale University, and the University of Cincinnati.

To date, AHA and CHF have awarded $2.42 million in CHD research awards. The funding will continue through June 2021.