The Heart Institute
March 20, 2018

Award recognizes Sanchez’s outstanding contributions to improving the health of the community

TAMPA, FL, Tuesday, March, 20 2018 — The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, announced that Tampa Bay physician Robert Sanchez, MD, FACC has been named a recipient of the Association’s 2018 Physician of the Year. This prestigious award recognizes practicing physicians who have made outstanding contributions to the American Heart Association’s mission.

Dr. Sanchez, a cardiologist at The Heart Institute in St. Petersburg and the Director of Cardiovascular Medicine at HCA West Florida’s Northside Hospital & Tampa Bay Heart Institute, has served the Association in a variety of capacities.

He advocated for all Tampa Bay school districts to make CPR training a graduation requirement. His invaluable voice helped pave the way for Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties’ adoption of CPR education policy, resulting in 25,000 new lifesavers in our community each year.

Through his work on the Tampa Bay Metro board, Dr. Sanchez set a goal to train 150,000 Tampa Bay area citizens in Hands-Only CPR in just three short years. This past December, the goal was exceeded with more than 220,000 trained community members.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Sanchez championing the health of our community, state, region and nation,” said American Heart Association Tampa Bay Executive Director, Kristen McCall. “His matchless passion and dedication to improve the lives of others is evident in all that he touches, and we are grateful for his service.”

Dr. Sanchez is a strong advocate for the American Heart Association’s quality programs. He has expanded the reach of the Association’s Get With The Guidelines in-hospital programs, which continuously improve patient care. He served as co-chair of Mission: Lifeline Tampa Bay where he was devoted to STEMI care in Tampa Bay, which resulted in improved STEMI patient experience and outcome.

Dr. Sanchez also sits on the American Heart Association Science Advisory Committee and reviews cardiovascular guidelines, and he often devotes his time to community events and public speaking opportunities centered around health and wellness.

“We are thrilled that the American Heart Association has recognized Dr. Sanchez as their 2018 Physician of the Year and wish him sincere congratulations on this much deserved honor,” said Dia Nichols, CEO, Northside Hospital. “Dr. Sanchez’s devotion to promoting the importance of cardiovascular health, his commitment to his patients, Northside Hospital and our community is impressive. We are fortunate to have someone of his caliber on our team. A hearty congratulations goes out to Dr. Sanchez for such an awesome achievement.”

Dr. Sanchez has been in leadership roles with the American Heart Association for more than a decade. He has served the Greater Southeast Affiliate board for the past four years, currently as the president-elect. Dr. Sanchez has also been a Tampa Bay Metro board member for seven years, formerly serving as the board president.

He will be presented with the award during the American Heart Association Award Luncheon on Wednesday, June 27, in Plano, Texas.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit American Heart Association or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit American Stroke Association. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at corporate funding page.

For Local Media Inquiries:

Lily Conrad - contact by email or phone (678) 873-1566
American Heart Association and American Stroke Association