Happy New Year!
As we begin 2018 and prepare to face new opportunities and new challenges, I want to thank all of you for your continued commitment to ACHA. Your dedication and support enabled us to achieve strong growth in 2017. Here are just a few of the highlights from the past year:
- Nearly 800 people attended our in-person educational/social programs in 2017, which included the National Conference in Orlando and four regional events held in Indianapolis, New York, Memphis and St. Louis. In addition, nearly 8,500 participated in and/or viewed our monthly education webinars – an increase of 36% over 2016.
- After many years of hard work and planning, 2017 marked the formal launch of the ACHA ACHD Accreditation program. In September, a nationwide media campaign announced our first accredited sites, and by year’s end, a total of 17 comprehensive care centers covering 13 different states had earned accreditation. The program continues full steam ahead, with many additional institutions in varying stages of the application and review process for 2018.
- We continued to make great strides in growing awareness, especially via ACHA’s social media platforms. We grew over 1,000 new Twitter followers in 2017 and had more than 13,500 total Facebook followers by year’s end. We also started a new Instagram account and ended the year with 1,235 Instagram followers.
- Advocacy played an increasingly critical role in our mission portfolio in 2017. More than 200 activists attended the winter Legislative Conference and/or the fall Hill Day visits in Washington, D.C. Plus, throughout the year, ACHA activists reached out to their elected officials via phone and e-mail to voice their opinion on issues of importance to the CHD community.
- We experienced our most successful Giving Tuesday yet and also set a record for donations to our Heart Month and year-end appeals. Overall, unrestricted donations were up by 12%, and we saw solid growth in both the total number of donors and the number of new donors.
So, on behalf of the entire ACHA board and staff team, thank you for making 2017 a truly special year. Your active engagement, your strong voice, and your donations of time, talent and treasure enabled us to maximize our impact. Now, it is on to 2018, which as you may know marks the 20th anniversary of ACHA. Throughout the year, we will offer various opportunities for you to join us in commemorating this milestone, so stay tuned. The best is yet to come.
Mark Roeder, President and CEO