AHA President OK After Heart Attack

American Heart Association (AHA) President Dr. John Warner suffered a minor heart attack last week while attending the association’s annual Scientific Sessions event in Anaheim, Calif. Warner was hospitalized, had a coronary stent inserted, and is currently resting with family, according to an AHA release. Early prognoses are positive.

“Dr. Warner’s recovery continues and he continues to work in his capacities for the American Heart Association and UT Southwestern University Hospitals,” a representative of UT Southwestern Hospitals said via email on Monday. Warner has served as CEO of UT Southwestern University Hospitals in Dallas, Texas since 2012.

The Scientific Sessions, per Warner’s request, continued on after the incident as planned. In addition to serving as AHA’s volunteer president for 2017-18, Warner has been a member of the association’s national board of directors since 2014.

“John wanted to reinforce that this incident underscores the important message that he left us with in his presidential address [at Scientific Sessions]– that much progress has been made, but much remains to be done. Cardiac events can still happen anytime and anywhere,” said AHA CEO Nancy Brown.

During his opening address at the Scientific Sessions, Warner shared his family’s own struggles with cardiac health.

“Earlier in my talk, I told you there were no old men in my family. I know this is also true in far too many other families, not just in the U.S., but around the world. I believe the people in this room have the power – and even the duty – to change that. Together, we can make sure old men and old women are regulars at family reunions,” he said, per a transcript of his statement.

In addition serving as AHA’s president and CEO of UT Southwestern Hospitals, Warner serves as senior executive officer, joint operating company for Southwestern Health Resources, according to his AHA bio. He is also chairperson for AHA’s Science Advisory & Coordinating Committee and is a member of its Advocacy Coordinating Committee, Corporate Operations Coordinating Committee, Executive Committee, and International Committee. Prior to ascending to president, Warner was president of AHA’s SouthWest affiliate from 2010 to 2012.

Warner earned his M.D. from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. and his M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn. He completed his medical residency at UT Southwestern.