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WASHINGTON (March 29, 2014) — The American College of Cardiology presented the second annual CardioSmart Patient Advocate Award to Dana Carvey in recognition of his work to bring awareness to early detection and prevention of heart disease by sharing his own heart health story and supporting national efforts to prevent heart disease. Carvey received his award during the ACC’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session General Opening Session today in Washington.
“Dana Carvey’s willingness to speak out about the importance of being aware of your heart disease risk and taking the appropriate steps to keep your heart healthy is inspiring in so many ways,” said John G. Harold, MD, MACC, president of the American College of Cardiology. “Even though his own heart health journey has been rocky, he uses his story and experiences as a platform to educate others. He’s the embodiment of the CardioSmart spirit and a very worthwhile recipient of the Patient Advocate Award.”
CardioSmart is the patient education and support program developed by the ACC. Its mission is to engage, inform and empower patients to better prepare them for participation in their own care. CardioSmart established the Patient Advocate Award in 2013 to recognize and honor individuals who have demonstrated a stellar and ongoing commitment to advocating on behalf of cardiovascular disease patients to support quality care and improve outcomes and quality of life.
Carvey is a comedian, television and film actor, and philanthropist. In 1986 he gained nationwide recognition when he became a regular on the cast of “Saturday Night Live.” Some of his best known character portrayals include The Church Lady, Garth Algar from “Wayne’s World,” and President H.W. Bush. He’s also appeared in numerous feature films, including the “Wayne’s World” and “Wayne’s World 2” movies.
In 1997, Carvey experienced severe chest pain and was diagnosed with a blocked coronary artery. He underwent three angioplasties, but each failed. He then underwent double bypass, but the pain continued. A follow-up angiograph revealed that the wrong artery had been operated on during the double bypass.
For his fourth angioplasty, Carvey was treated by P.K. Shah, M.D., FACC, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. It was a success and today Carvey is healthy and a vocal supporter of heart disease awareness and prevention.
“Dana is very lucky in that he was vigilant about knowing something was not right with his health and continuing to push his doctors to find out what was wrong,” Dr. Shah said. “He’s in great shape today and has been able to use his experience to help others with heart disease or with a potential risk for heart disease.”
Carvey routinely participates in fundraising efforts for the Heart Foundation, a Los Angeles based nonprofit whose mission is to save lives by educating the public about heart disease, promoting early detection, and supporting the research of Dr. Shah in the quest to find more effective ways to prevent and treat the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.
For more information about CardioSmart, visit www.cardiosmart.org.
The ACC’s Annual Scientific Session brings together cardiologists and cardiovascular specialists from around the world each year to share the newest discoveries in treatment and prevention. Follow @ACCMediaCenter and #ACC14 for the latest news from the meeting.
The American College of Cardiology is a 47,000-member medical society that is the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team. The mission of the College is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College operates national registries to measure and improve care, provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit cardiosource.org/ACC.