UAMS’s McSweeney Named American Heart Association Volunteer of the Year

By Spencer Watson

McSweeney was presented with the award at a June 19 luncheon held at the AHA National Center in Dallas.

“American Heart is an outstanding organization, which is why I volunteer with them so much,” said McSweeney. “I truly believe in what they do and how they help researchers at every single level.”

The Healthcare Volunteer of the Year Award is conferred annually upon one health care volunteer who has rendered outstanding contributions to or achievements in cardiovascular/stroke patient care or improvements in the quality of health care delivery. It is one of nine national awards presented by the organization annually. The recipient is chosen by a volunteer subcommittee, which passes a recommendation on to the AHA National Board for final approval.

McSweeney, who has been with UAMS for more than 20 years and was last year invested in the Women’s Cardiovascular Health Professorship, is an internationally known researcher with more than 20 years of experience in women’s cardiovascular disease. She was the first to identify different heart attack symptoms for women in a 2003 study published in the AHA’s premier journal, Circulation. In 2016, she chaired the first AHA Scientific Statement fully devoted to cardiovascular disease in women.

She has also been a long-time volunteer for the AHA. She’s served on dozens of national, local and regional AHA committees since 1976, when she received the AHA Founder’s Award for her dedication and service.

“I’ve always wanted to pay back American Heart for believing in what I was doing early on,” McSweeney said. “I’ve been very fortunate to be able to say our research has changed practice and has helped people’s lives, and it was American Heart that helped set me on my path.”

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.