Sally Ross Soter and her husband, Bill, honored Giving Tuesday Now in an extraordinary way. The lifelong volunteers and patrons donated $5.9 million to the American Heart Association (AHA) with support from the Soter Kay Foundation to advance research on women’s cardiovascular health.
The philanthropists made a personal commitment of $5.9 million to extend their funding of the Sarah Ross Soter Center for Women’s Cardiovascular Research at New York University (NYU)’s Grossman School of Medicine. The center is a member of the association’s Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network.
There are significant biological differences between men and women and more work is needed to close gender disparities when it comes to cardiovascular research. In 2015, Soter launched the association’s first Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Center at NYU Langone Health under the direction of Dr. Judith Hochman and Dr. Harmony Reynolds.
Soter’s gift will allow Hochman and Reynolds to advance ongoing research on women and the biological variables affecting health and disease over the next five years. This seminal research will deepen the understanding of gender differences in the causes and mechanisms of heart attacks and work to reduce the occurrence of heart attacks in women.
“We are in awe of Sally’s, and her husband, Bill’s, desire to make a positive impact for the future of women’s cardiovascular care,” said Hochman. “Through Sally and Bill’s generous support of the Sarah Ross Soter Center for Women’s Cardiovascular Research at NYU Langone, we will continue to unlock new ways to treat, beat and prevent cardiovascular disease in women.”
“I’m delighted to support the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association alongside my husband, Bill, to be a relentless force for good,” said Soter. “I hope this gift will benefit generations of women to come through scientific discovery under the great leadership of Dr. Hochman and Dr. Reynolds.”
Within her local community of Palm Beach County, Soter and the Soter Kay Foundation, led by her daughter, Sarah, and grandchildren, have committed $300,000 to support the association’s hypertension and diabetes management programs for at-risk populations in the community.
The programs will ensure that Palm Beach County residents have access to free blood pressure equipment, diabetes education, and tailored healthcare support at 20 local Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). The goal is to reach 200,000 people, especially women, who are more likely to have high blood pressure and diabetes, and account for 65 percent of the local population that visit the centers.
“Caring for the most underserved communities and addressing underlying health inequities, which are palpable during the COVID-19 pandemic, is essential to moving our mission forward,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. “Three generations of Sally’s family have made it their life’s work to give back to their communities and the Association deeply admires Sally’s vision of instilling the health and well-being of all people with her children and grandchildren.”
This gift is another example of the extraordinary action Soter is taking to be a relentless force for longer, healthier lives. Soter’s passion and involvement with the Association spans decades, caring for the most underserved communities. To date, Soter has contributed over $16 million to the American Heart Association’s mission.
The gift kicked-off the Association’s Giving Tuesday Now movement, #ShowUsYourGood, which launched on May 5, 2020. To help the American Heart Association continue to make an impact, donate now at heart.org.