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Not Profit Health Care Organization Research Paper

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Table of Contents
Introduction
The American Heart Association (AHA)
Functions and Responsibilities
Creating Awareness
Funding
Stakeholders
Conclusion
References

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Introduction

Heart diseases are a major cause of death today with more than 70 million Americans estimated to have heart-related illnesses. People from all walks of life are at risk of contracting the disease irrespective of race or cultural background. Due to the increased cases of heart diseases and stroke, there was a need to study and try to understand the causes and the possible means of treatment for the heart diseases. One of the agencies that come in to rescue the situation is the American Heart Association (AHA), a non-profit organization that works to combat heart diseases and stroke.

The American Heart Association (AHA)

An early version of AHA was formed by a group of physicians and social workers in 1915 and due to the increasing awareness and the formation of similar groups in other states, there was a need to consolidate their efforts and findings hence they merged in 1924, (AHA, 2010). Its formation was inspired by the lack of information and treatment options regarding heart diseases and stroke. Moreover, the provision of quality healthcare in the US had for a long time been a major issue and therefore there was a need for intervention (Barton, 2007). Its primary aim is reducing the casualties and eliminating the disabilities caused by stroke and heart diseases. In addition, the organization seeks to enlighten the public about the specific causes of these diseases so that they can live a healthy lifestyle by helping them to access information and resources to take positive action. Basically, it makes sure that the three dimensions of health care are addressed. These are the willingness and the ability to access care, meet the costs of and expenditures for care, and ensure that the quality of care is up to the recommended standards (Barton, 2007)

This organization is a health agency that operates nationwide and is voluntary in nature. According to Newell (2010) “…heart disease is a variety of conditions in which the health and/or functioning ability of the heart muscle the veins, arteries or circulatory system is compromised” and their motto is “Building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke” (Belcher, 2010).

Stroke on the other hand occurs when the arteries that go to or are within the brain either get blocked by a clot or burst leading to a lack of or insufficient blood and oxygen to parts of the brain; thus it starts to die (American Stroke Association, 2009). American Heart Association and American Stroke Association work hand in hand in an effort to build lives free from stroke and heart diseases.

Functions and Responsibilities

The main offices of AHA are in Dallas Texas. The organization functions to create goals on a yearly basis that are aimed at reducing heart diseases and stroke. They do this by sensitizing and creating awareness on what causes the diseases and what can be done to prevent them. Among other things, smoking and inactivity are what the agency aims at reducing this year (Stover, 2010)

Creating Awareness

The organization functions as an awareness-raising organization with four main awareness-raising groups under its wing and they are formed to address heart and stroke problems to different people. The first group “Go Red for Women” is responsible for creating awareness about heart diseases in women and giving them choices to healthy living (Stover, 2010)

The other group “Start” focuses on forming an online society that urges people to walk in order to improve their health. According to Stover (2010), “they provide instruction, support, social contact and a wealth of online tools to help improve health through walking; the site also has online mapping tool to assist you in tracking your walking route, calories burned and distance walked”.

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AHA also raises awareness and offers knowledge about childhood obesity through a group called “The Alliance for a Healthier Generation”. According to this group, the children who are 10 years old and below are more likely to have a lower life expectancy than their parents due to the risks of heart diseases resulting from obesity (Stover, 2010)

The last group “The Power to End Stroke” is responsible for creating awareness and preventing stroke-related illness across all cultural backgrounds in addition to working as a fundraising group. According to Kendall (2010) through community involvement;

There is a behavior modification program for women and a program in which survivors of stroke and heart diseases together with their caregivers can get together to discuss the concerns, emotions, and questions they have regarding stroke. There is also a worksite program that works with employers and employees to encourage people to undertake a year-round walking program in order to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Through research, AHA has provided information to people in all fields in an effort to improve the treatment options available to people with heart diseases and stroke. It has also set aside a considerable amount of money for research and has collaborated with other stakeholders in the health sectors in an effort to better the odds of winning against heart diseases and stroke

Funding

The AHA is a non-profit making organization that gets its funding from donors and well-wishers. In terms of manpower, it has around 3.7 million volunteers who work together with the management team, (Stover, 2010). As it is not profit-oriented, it gets grants from the federal government through the ministry of health and social services. Funds are also sourced through fundraising where the organization appeals to the general public to chip in and help in the fight against stroke and heart diseases.

Stakeholders

The AHA stakeholders include heart and stroke patients, future generations, AHA partners like OSHO, caregivers, and physicians. The success of AHA has been influenced greatly by its partnerships with other like-minded organizations like OSHO and even the donors whose contributions made sure that the organizations stay afloat. This has led to a decline in the cases of heart diseases and stroke due to increased awareness. Indeed, those with the diseases have had their chances of survival increased due to better medical care.

The caregivers and the physicians have an understanding of the diseases and what is needed for better chances of full recovery hence better methods of dealing with the patients.

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The future generations who are not yet affected but are at risk have access to information on how to avoid increasing the risks of infection through healthy living and exercising. Eating a healthy diet with low proportions of fats and cholesterol, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly are key to staying healthy and avoiding heart diseases and stroke (Stover, 2010)

Conclusion

Although monumental breakthroughs have been made in the researches on heart diseases and stroke, a permanent cure to these diseases is yet to be found. The only way the public can increase their chances of avoiding these illnesses is by trying to live a healthy lifestyle by eating and doing, in moderation or avoiding altogether, the things that increase the chances of contracting the disease.

References

AHA. (2010). History of the American Heart Association. Web.

Barton, P. L. (2007). Understanding the U.S. health services system. Third Edition. Chicago, Health Administration Press.

Belcher, L. (2010). What Is the Purpose of the American Heart Association? Web.

Kendall, E. (2010). Facts about the American Heart Association. Web.

Newell, L. (2010). what is the Definition of Heart Disease? Web.

Stover, E. (2010). What Are the American Heart Association Functions & Responsibilities? Web.

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