AHA CEO named one of Modern Healthcare's 2024 Top Women Leaders

Nancy Brown is the first and only female CEO in the American Heart Association's 100-year history. (American Heart Association)
Nancy Brown is the first and only female CEO in the American Heart Association's 100-year history. (American Heart Association)

American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown has been recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the 2024 Top Women Leaders in Healthcare.

The magazine honors women executives from all sectors of the health care industry for their contributions to care delivery improvement, health equity, policy and gender equity in health care leadership.

Awardees were selected based on measurable impact at their company and/or in the health care industry in the past 12 months.

"I am deeply honored to receive this recognition from Modern Healthcare and be recognized alongside the rest of the class of 2024 Top Women Leaders. The lifesaving work of the American Heart Association has always been a team effort. The volunteers, supporters, partners, patients, survivors and staff of the American Heart Association power our mission forward — I am humbled to accept this award in recognition of their impact," Brown said. "I can't wait to see the impact we will have together in our second century."

Brown's recent accomplishments highlight her visionary leadership:

  • In June 2023, she led the AHA's launch of the Nation of Lifesavers, a CPR awareness campaign in response to NFL player Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest in January 2023 and the strong interest in the lifesaving technique.
  • The AHA's Health Care by Food initiative is building evidence to show clinical and cost effectiveness of accessing healthy food as part of health care for people with acute or chronic conditions as a covered benefit through public and private health insurance.
  • The organization's strategic successes led to remarkable financial achievements in fiscal year 2022-23, surpassing $1.2 billion in revenue that reinforces its global cardiovascular health leadership position.
  • The association heightened its longstanding focus on health equity, rural health, food insecurity and other social determinants that affect health and well-being.

As the AHA's first and only female CEO in its 100-year history, Brown has also been a champion of women, amplifying awareness through equitable health initiatives such as Go Red for Women and Research Goes Red. She's also elevated female leaders, volunteers and scientists across all levels of the organization.

"Nancy's visionary leadership has further strengthened the Association as a global authority on cardiovascular disease and brain health," said Joseph C. Wu, M.D., Ph.D., volunteer president of the American Heart Association and director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and the Simon H. Stertzer Professor of Medicine and Radiology at Stanford School of Medicine, who nominated her for the award.

"Her ability to forge collaborative partnerships across organizations and industries has created a powerful community focused on improving health outcomes. Her compassion, integrity and resilience set a high standard for leadership, leaving a lasting mark on the industry. I look forward to the ways she will continue to shape the health care industry and the Association for many years to come."

The profiles of all honorees are featured in the March 11 issue of Modern Healthcare and at ModernHealthcare.com.