The American Heart Association was started in 1924 by six cardiologists: Lewis A. Conner, Robert H. Halsey, Paul D. White, Joseph Sailer, Robert B. Preble and Hugh D. McCulloch. The organization states that it recruited physicians and scientists to research heart disease.
In the early 1900's, physicians did not know how to treat heart disease. The AHA provided a central organization for researchers to share their findings. In 1946, the organization expanded its efforts into creating a community rheumatic fever program, a project funded by the American Legion, states the American Heart Association.
In 1948, the organization expanded its recruitment and began bringing in volunteers experienced in fund raising, business management, communication and public education, explains the AHA. With the new volunteers, in 1949, the organization launched its first national fund raising campaign, raising $2.7 million.
The association grew and moved its National Center from New York City to Dallas in 1975, states the AHA. Their mission expanded from sole focus on cardiovascular research to include education and community projects. By the mid-1990's, the organization reached out to the American public with statements about controlling risk factors of heart disease, and they expanded research programs to include stroke and emergency heart care. As of 2015, the company has more than 22.5 million volunteers and supporters, 3,000 employees and 156 offices.