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Frank Amend

by Keltcie D. on Thursday, November 8, 2012

Frank Amend, North Carolina

Frank Amend had never even heard of the American Heart Association before 2003.  That’s when at 41 years old he underwent a heart catherization procedure to have four stents implanted in his coronary arteries.  Frank actually joined the American Heart Association’s advocacy network by a fluke - when another volunteer could not attend national lobby day in Washington, DC, Frank’s cardiologist recommended him.  In 2006 Frank required triple bypass surgery and he has been active in grassroots advocacy ever since.

While starting as a member and then taking increasing senior roles in North Carolina’s grassroots advocacy program, Frank had the opportunity to assist in the development of the state organization’s leadership structure and then help guide the group’s initial efforts.  One of his fondest memories was seeing North Carolina’s passage of House Bill 2, which banned smoking in all restaurants and bars in the state.   Although Frank stated that he came to work on this initiative during its later stages, he praises all the hard work contributed by the different members of the NC Alliance for Health as well as all the entire NC grass roots organization to enable the bill to be enacted.  In recognition of all his work within the organization, Frank was awarded the American Heart Associations’ National Survivor of the Year Award in 2009.

Although Frank joined the advocacy committee by accident, he hasn’t regretted a single minute.  He cherishes the friendships that he has made along with the important work that he and his fellow advocates have accomplished throughout the years.  Most importantly, Frank enjoys witnessing the passion that people possess while advocating; especially the caregivers of those affected by cardiovascular disease. He feels strongly that volunteers are an integral part of the American Heart Association; as they, the AHA employees, and the medical community all work in synergy to put heart disease in the forefront of public health issues. For those affected by heart disease/stroke,

Frank encourages everyone to get involved and give back.  He says survivors can make such a positive impact volunteering and making their voices heard about heart disease and its prevention.   In our brief conversation, he stated that: “In my years as an AHA volunteer, I have received so much more in return for the seemingly small, in comparison, effort that I expended.”

 Frank is a busy man who, along with all of the above mentioned, also enjoys working in the yard, reading, going to the beach, and traveling with his wife. 

Frank and daughter Hannah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Advocate interview provided by Blog Contributor Amanda Orfitelli.