Leadership Update: Annual Report & Conference Wrap-Up

Posted Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Here is the leadership update from our May e-newsletter.

We did it! Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our co-host, the Ahmanson/UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center, our 60+ faculty members, our generous sponsors, and ACHA conference staff and volunteers, ACHA’s Sixth National Conference was our biggest and best yet. But what if you were one of 6,000+ ACHA members not able to come? We are currently collecting and uploading conference presentations at our website, and will be offering a number of webinars based directly on conference presentations. But more importantly, a primary goal of ACHA conferences is to spur a national “ripple effect” of knowledge, awareness, activity and volunteerism. Many conference attendees have volunteered to lead Congenital Heart Walks in their areas, become Heart to Heart Ambassadors, and get active with ACHD advocacy. On the professional side, new research on pulmonary arterial hypertension, congenital heart failure, and ACHD quality improvement will now be executed. We know that this event will be a key milestone in the achievement of better lifelong health and well-being for every person born with a heart defect.

ACHA celebrated another key achievement this month—the publication of our 2010 annual report. Like all healthy nonprofits, ACHA publishes a yearly annual report to tell our supporters exactly how we used their donations in the previous fiscal year. In addition to ACHA’s 2010 finances and programs, the annual report outlines ACHA’s mission, core values, history, vision, and governance structure. It translates ACHA’s four activity areas—outreach, education, advocacy, and promotion of research—into dollar amounts spent in each area in 2010.

As ACHA’s President/CEO, I am proud that, even as our budget has risen from under $500,000 in 2009 to over $1 million in 2011, our usage of funds, diversity of sources, and percent of funds given by members continues to exceed best practice standards. I am also proud that, unlike at many national heart groups, every dollar donated to ACHA is directed to improving long-term well-being for congenital heart patients. I know that there are many groups out there competing for your support. I encourage each of you to give us, and all other heart-related nonprofits, the same kind of scrutiny you would when making any other kind of financial investment. If after reviewing our annual report you have any more questions, contact me and I will strive to get you the information you need. Thanks in advance for your continued support as we move towards the ACHA vision of life unaffected by congenital heart disease for every person born with a congenital heart defect.

Amy Verstappen
ACHA President/CEO