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Hawaii Pacific Health CEO Ray Vara to serve as national chairman of American Heart Association

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Hawaii Pacific Health President and Chief Executive Officer Ray Vara has been named chairman of the American Heart Association.

Vara, who has a long history of service to the nonprofit, is the first person from Hawaii to serve as the association’s chairman. He will serve a two-year term, effective today.

“Health starts in our homes, schools, workplaces and neighborhoods,” Vara said in a news release. “Making a healthy impact on each of these and setting measurable goals to do so, will be crucial for me as chairman. I plan to play a pivotal role in the advancement of the Association’s mission by applying my knowledge of the American healthcare system to further our work in creating healthier communities through improved access to care and clinical quality, while eliminating disparities and inequities.”

Vara has spent many years in key volunteer leadership roles for the Association.

From 2015 to 2019, he served as the association’s treasurer, and he has served as chairman of the association’s Corporate Operations Coordinating Committee, Business Solutions Oversight Committee and Budget Review Subcommittee.

Vara was also chairman of the association’s former Pacific Mountain Affiliate from 2009 to 2011 and served on the Western States board for five years beginning.

AHA also named Dr. Donald M. Lloyd-Jones as president of the organization for its 2021-2022 fiscal year. Lloyd-Jones, chair of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, is among the world’s most highly regarded experts in cardiovascular disease prevention and epidemiology.

The association said Vara and Lloyd-Jones will take the helm during an unprecedented time for the world and organization as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

“With the strong volunteer leadership of Ray Vara, Dr. Don Lloyd-Jones and the entire board, the American Heart Association will continue our strong trajectory toward equitable and accessible health for all,” said association CEO Nancy Brown. “I am confident their experience and expertise will advance the organization as a global authority in overall health and well-being.”

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