The American Heart Association today applauded Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) for accepting the position of House Republican co-chair of the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition. The association welcomes Rep. Smith to this important position and looks forward to working with him in the fight against heart disease and stroke, the nation's No. 1 and No. 4 killers.
In addition to being a long-time member of the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition, Rep. Smith has been a strong supporter of funding for the National Institutes of Health, as well as a cosponsor in previous congresses of the HEART for Women Act and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.
"Congressman Smith has a long and distinguished record of standing up for heart and stroke patients on Capitol Hill and he strongly supports our mission of reducing cardiovascular disease and stroke in this country," said American Heart Association President, Donna Arnett. "His leadership on these important issues will help ensure that every American has the opportunity to live a life free of these diseases."
"I was honored to be asked to co-chair the Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition and pleased to accept," said Congressman Smith. "For years, the coalition has helped advance the fight against heart disease, stroke, and other devastating cardiovascular diseases and has effectively educated members of Congress on the seriousness of heart and stroke issues. In addition to acting as a resource and raising awareness, the coalition has led the fight to emphasize prevention and ensure patients have access to quality care and treatment.
"I look forward to working with the American Heart Association and coalition members in the 113th Congress as we continue to work on behalf of Americans suffering from heart disease and help their loved ones--who are so often the primary caregivers."
The Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition was founded in 1996 for the purpose of raising awareness of the seriousness of cardiovascular diseases and to act as a resource center for heart and stroke issues, including biomedical research, quality, the availability of care, health promotion and disease prevention. The coalition and its nearly 150 members also work to advance public policy aimed at fighting cardiovascular diseases.
Rep. Smith will follow Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA), who retired at the end of the 112th Congress, as House Republican co-chair of the coalition and join Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), and Senators Michael Crapo (R-ID) and Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) as leaders of the coalition.