Ralph L. Sacco Death – The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association’s volunteers and employees are mourning the loss of Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., FAHA, FAAN, who passed away this morning, January 17, 2023, as a result of an aggressive brain tumor. We send our deepest condolences to Dr. Sacco’s spouse Scott Dutcher, family, and loved ones, as well as the many patients, coworkers, and friends who were fortunate to experience his exceptional love for and service to humanity on behalf of the Association and its vast global network of more than 40 million volunteers and supporters.
Ralph L. Sacco was described
Ralph was a unique individual. “His leadership was unmatched, and his warm, giving heart and care transcended his research and clinic to every person fortunate to meet him and probably become a friend,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. “The Association is forever grateful that he chose to share his time and extraordinary talents with us, and we will continue to honor his memory through the work we do to champion health equity and brain health, resulting in longer, healthier lives for all people,” reads a statement on the association’s website.
In 2010–2011, Dr. Sacco became the first neurologist to hold the position of president of the American Heart Association. He remained actively involved in the organization up to his resignation as editor-in-chief of Stroke, the Association’s scientific publication, this month. In particular, his vision helped to shape the first 25 years of the American Stroke Association, a section of the American Heart Association, and had a long-lasting influence. His valued leadership efforts with the Association have spanned nearly three decades. Dr. Sacco has received multiple honors in recognition of his outstanding contribution, most recently being designated a 2022 Distinguished Scientist. He has also previously won the William Feinberg Award in 2006, the Gold Heart Award in 2015, and the Distinguished National Leadership Award in 2011.
We lament his passing together with those of his colleagues in the global scientific and medical communities. Dr. Sacco was one of the nation’s leading stroke neurologists, concentrating on population research in cerebrovascular illness, and his passion to improve the quality of stroke care was unshakable and led to significant advances in the field. His kind disposition, passion, and commitment inspired improvements in stroke research and the creation of tailored stroke care, which in turn helped many people recover from strokes and experience a higher quality of life afterward.
As the creator of the Northern Manhattan Study, he paved the way for research into the variations in stroke risk related to race, ethnicity, sex, and neighborhood. He also helped people understand the effect of modifiable lifestyle behaviors, such as alcohol consumption and physical activity, on stroke risk. Numerous doctors, researchers, and other healthcare professionals benefited from Dr. Sacco’s career guidance, and future generations will benefit from his leadership and mentoring.
PC: American Heart Association
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