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Leadership Update: Announcing our 2011 Annual Report

This is the leadership update from June's e-newsletter.

In a few days it will be the first day of summer, which here in Philadelphia means the sound of kids jumping through sprinklers, the smell of barbecue, and that lazy feeling that comes with hot, humid days. But at ACHA we will be turning up the air conditioners and staying hard at work on all our exciting summer initiatives.

One of our biggest recent achievements is the publication of our 2011 Annual Report, designed by ACHA Heart to Heart Ambassador Karen Psolka. Thanks to the generous donation of printing costs by Kalnin Graphics, it offers 12 full-color pages highlighting both individual member stories and the full spectrum of 2011 activities. It also gives a thorough accounting of all of ACHA income and expenses. At ACHA, we recognize that when you invest in us, you deserve to know you made a wise investment. This is the goal of our annual report: To give a comprehensive description of all 2011 activities and a complete accounting of finances that made these activities possible. ACHA is proud that we again meet all best practice standards for transparency and utilization of funds by U.S. charitable organizations and have earned a GuideStar Exchange Seal. I hope each of you will take the time to read our annual report and learn more about how your investment in ACHA impacts CHD patients throughout the country every day.

Summer also offers two other ways to get involved with ACHA—through Congenital Heart Walks and through in-district advocacy visits. If you have not attended a Congenital Heart Walk yet, we hope we will see you at one of our six summer walks in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Los Angeles, Richmond, Denver, or St. Louis. Visit our Congenital Heart Walks website for more information or to see whether your community is hosting one of the eight walks happening this fall. This summer ACHA will again bring together CHD patients, families, and lawmakers in their community to let them know how important it is that Congress keep funding research and surveillance in CHD. This is a great way to meet other people in your area and take part in in-person advocacy without having to go to D.C.

Finally, summer is often the time when people hit the road. If you or your loved one has CHD, please be sure to tuck two things in your suitcase—ACHA’s Personal Health Passport and ACHA’s Travel Directory. Our Health Passport offers a wallet alert card and summary of key health issues to hand to healthcare providers in an emergency. Our travel directory offers contact information for nearly 90 ACHD programs throughout the country, as well as information on CHD care sites in over 35 countries. Heading to Thailand but worried that you will get an arrhythmia while you’re there? Staple your EKG into your Personal Health Passport, tuck the directory in your pocket, and you are good to go!

Wishing everyone a great start to summer, whether you are hitting the road or relaxing at home.

All the best,

Amy Verstappen
ACHA President/CEO

Posted on Wednesday, June 20, 2012