American Heart Association to Honor Strong Memorial Heart Transplant Team

October 06, 1999

The American Heart Association, Genesee Valley Region, will honor Strong Memorial Hospital's new heart transplant team with its coveted, etched glass "Distinguished Service Award" at next February's Heart Ball. The event will be held on Saturday, February 5, 2000, at 6:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Rochester.

In April, Strong Memorial Hospital received approval from the New York State Department of Health to establish a heart transplant program for adults and children. With recruitment underway for a transplant cardiologist, Strong Memorial plans to begin performing transplants early next year. The program will serve Upstate New York and will complete the full continuum of cardiac care in the Finger Lakes region.

"Having a local heart transplant program will be a tremendous aid to cardiac patients and their families in our region. The American Heart Association is pleased to have the opportunity to honor those who are making this dream a reality," said Dennis M. Mullen, president and CEO of Agrilink Foods. Mullen, together with his wife, Cathy, are co-chairing this year's Heart Ball. The Mullens reside in Pittsford.

Cardiologist and researcher Bradford Berk, M.D., Ph.D., and heart surgeon George Hicks, M.D., will accept the award on behalf of the transplant team. Berk is chair of the Department of Medicine, chief of Cardiology and director of the Center for Cardiovascular Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Hicks is chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Medical Center.

Now in its 10th year, the Heart Ball is one of the community's most prominent gala events. Each year, the event chooses an individual or team of individuals who have improved the cardiac health of those in our community. Last year's Ball raised more than $140,000 for the American Heart Association's research, education and outreach programs. For more information about this year's Heart Ball, call 426-4050.

For Media Inquiries:
Karin Christensen
(585) 275-1311
Email Karin Christensen