Meet Dr. Mitchell S.V. Elkind, new AHA president

July 16, 2020

Nineteen years ago this month, neurologist Dr. Mitchell Elkind became the first recipient of the Kathleen Scott Research Fellowship — established by Bertram L. Scott in honor of his late wife, who died of a stroke. The grant funded Elkind’s exploration of the role inflammatory markers play in stroke risk as part of the landmark Northern Manhattan Study.

“That fellowship helped launch my research career and made me a lifelong volunteer of the American Heart Association,” Elkind said.

Fast forward to today, and the two men have come full circle as national leaders of the AHA, with Scott in his second year as chairman and Elkind the newly seated president.

“I couldn’t be happier to have him as a partner,” Scott said.

Elkind is a professor of neurology and epidemiology at Columbia University in New York, where he also serves as chief of the Division of Neurology Clinical Outcomes Research and Population Sciences in the Department of Neurology. He has held numerous local and national volunteer positions at the AHA, most recently chairing the Advisory Committee of the American Stroke Association — an AHA division. He is editor of the Stroke journal’s new International Stroke Early Career and Training Section (InterSECT).

“Brain health,” he said, “has interesting and complex relationships to cardiovascular disease. I hope to bring more neuroscientists, both basic and clinical, into the association family.”

Elkind takes the helm during an unprecedented time as the coronavirus pandemic continues its deadly course, disproportionately devastating communities of color.

“My goal is to successfully steer the American Heart Association through the myriad complicated medical, economic and social difficulties that we face,” he said. “My fondest wish would be that we look back years from now and say that the association met the challenges posed by a global pandemic, which threatened everything we believe in, and responded with leadership, energy and integrity to save lives and improve quality of life for all.”

To get to know him better, watch now.