Sounding a call for greater investment in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease and strokes in Delaware, businessman and philanthropist Thom Harvey and his wife Robin Adair Harvey launched a research initiative this week at the University of Delaware’s STAR Campus.
The American Heart Association Delaware Harvey Family Research Symposium convened leaders from across the state’s medical and health care community, with a focus on sparking innovation to curb two of the nation’s top killers – cardiovascular disease and stroke.
The initiative will serve a forum for researchers sharing impactful research and discoveries as well as provide funding for improving stroke care through a “stroke tank” ideas competition.
Harvey, chairman and CEO of the real estate development and hospitality firm Harvey, Hanna & Associates, said that one million dollars had already been raised for research in Delaware in the past two years to address Delaware’s rates of cardiovascular disease and stroke, which he says are worse than the national average.
“We want to do our part to help improve all aspects of stroke prevention, diagnosis and treatment here in Delaware,” said Harvey. “This is the beginning of Robin’s and my commitment to try to use our best efforts to help figure out how to fix this. We see a problem that has affected our lives and the lives of those we love. We want to help and hopefully be a catalyst for improvement.”
Reflecting on the impact of stroke in his own family, Harvey noted that Sussex County’s population is aging with more people at risk of cardiovascular disease but there is a need for more treatment facilities and education.
“People from New Castle County and many other states in our region are retiring in Sussex County. Yet there is no acute stroke car facility downstate,” said Harvey, who explained that greater awareness of signs and symptoms of stroke and enhanced paramedic training could save lives.
“This will take money, focus and commitment,” he said.
Three researchers funded by the Harveys through the American Heart Association also spoke at the event on a panel hosted by the AHA’s Dave Edwards – Jordan Patik, Shannon Robson, Fabrizio Sergi and Megan Wenner – which was hosted by UD’s College of Health Sciences, led by dean Kathleen Matt.
To learn more and support the Delaware chapter of the American Heart Association go to: https://www.heart.org/en/affiliates/delaware/welcome-to-delaware