American Heart Association Internships | Empowering the Future of Cardiovascular Healthcare


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The American Heart Association (AHA) has long been a leading force in the fight against cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and its commitment to advancing scientific research and improving public health is well-known. To further their mission and engage young minds in the pursuit of cardiovascular excellence, the AHA offers internships that provide invaluable experiences for aspiring healthcare professionals, researchers, and advocates. In this blog post, we will delve into the significance of American Heart Association internships, their impact on participants and the broader community, the application process, and the benefits of becoming an AHA intern.

What does the American Heart Association do?

The American Heart Association (AHA) is a non-profit organization focused on fighting heart disease and stroke. Some of the main activities and programs of the AHA include:

  • Funding Research – The AHA provides funding for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular research through grants, fellowships, and awards programs. It supports research across all disciplines and career stages.
  • Developing Treatment Guidelines – The AHA issues evidence-based guidelines for healthcare providers regarding cardiovascular care, resuscitation, and emergency cardiac procedures. These set clinical standards.
  • Public Education – The AHA provides CPR/first aid training, educates the public on heart disease risk factors, and runs awareness campaigns on cardiovascular health.
  • Advocacy – The AHA advocates for legislative policies aimed at improving cardiovascular research and prevention programs, promoting physical education, fighting tobacco use, etc.
  • Publications – The AHA publishes medical journals, magazines, and online articles disseminating cutting-edge scientific research and health information on cardiovascular disease.
  • Fundraising Events – The AHA holds various fundraising events like the Heart Walk, Go Red for Women campaign, galas, and balls to support its programs.
  • Training & Certifications – The AHA offers cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillator (AED), first aid, and other emergency cardiovascular care training programs.
  • Community Outreach – The AHA has local offices nationwide that collaborate with schools, workplaces, hospitals, and community groups on health initiatives.

American Heart Association Internships Opportunities

  • Research Internships: Research is the backbone of progress in cardiovascular healthcare. Research interns work closely with scientists, conducting experiments, analyzing data, and contributing to scientific publications. They may focus on diverse areas, such as genetics, risk factors, treatment methods, and prevention strategies.
  • Advocacy Internships: Advocacy interns play a vital role in influencing policies that affect cardiovascular health. They collaborate with legislative teams, engage in grassroots initiatives, and promote awareness about cardiovascular diseases to advocate for improved public health measures.
  • Community Outreach Internships: Community outreach interns work with AHA’s local chapters and community partners to implement heart health initiatives. These efforts may involve organizing events, health screenings, educational workshops, and awareness campaigns.
  • Administrative Internships: Administrative interns support the day-to-day operations of the AHA, gaining insights into the organizational aspects of a large-scale healthcare organization. They contribute to planning events, managing resources, and optimizing processes.

Eligibility Requirements for American Heart Association Internships

Here are some typical eligibility criteria for American Heart Association (AHA) internships:

  • Currently enrolled in an accredited high school, college, or university as an undergraduate or graduate student
  • Ability to commit to a full-time or part-time internship, usually 10-12 weeks during the summer
  • Interest in fields like public health, healthcare, communications, marketing, or nonprofit management
  • Strong academic performance with a minimum 3.0 GPA preferred
  • Relevant coursework or experience in major/field of interest
  • Authorization to work in the United States
  • Willingness to relocate for the duration of the internship
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Detail-oriented with the ability to manage multiple tasks
  • Passion for the mission of the American Heart Association
  • Previous volunteer experience with AHA/similar organizations may be preferred
  • Language skills like Spanish may be preferred for some positions
  • Some internships may require a specific major or enrollment in a healthcare/public health program
  • Note that some eligibility criteria may vary by location and department
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Application Process for American Heart Association Internships

How to Apply

  • Search internship opportunities on the AHA website or job boards and find openings that match your interests and qualifications. Opportunities are posted in the fall through spring for summer internships.
  • Prepare required application materials which may include:
    • Resume
    • Cover letter expressing your interests and qualifications
    • Unofficial school transcript
    • Completed AHA application form
  • Submit your application through the specified portal or channel by the stated deadline. Some positions may require additional essays or questionnaires.
  • Strong candidates will be contacted for a phone or in-person interview. Interviews are typically conducted in February-April.
  • If selected, you will receive an internship offer and paperwork to formally accept the position. This includes tax forms, confidentiality agreements, etc.
  • Before starting, you must complete any prerequisite onboarding steps like background checks, drug screening, and orientation.
  • Internships usually run during the summer months of June-August. The duration ranges from 10-12 weeks depending on the program.
  • Housing and transportation are generally not provided, but salaries, relocation stipends, or public transportation assistance may be offered.

The AHA encourages promising students to apply for internships that align with their skills and interests. With over 30 chapters nationwide, they offer diverse experiences to help interns grow professionally.

Tips for Successful Application

  • Eligibility: AHA internships are typically open to undergraduate and graduate students, recent graduates, and young professionals interested in cardiovascular health. Eligibility criteria may vary based on the specific internship category.
  • Application Process: Prospective interns can apply for positions through AHA’s official website. The application process may involve submitting a resume, cover letter, academic transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Some positions might require additional materials, such as writing samples or research proposals.
  • Interview: Shortlisted candidates are usually invited for interviews, which may be conducted in person or virtually. The interview provides an opportunity for candidates to showcase their passion for cardiovascular health and demonstrate their suitability for the internship role.
  • Selection: Successful candidates will receive offers to join the AHA internship program. The duration of internships may vary, ranging from a few weeks to several months.

Who funds the American Heart Association?

The American Heart Association (AHA) receives funding from a variety of sources, including:

  • Individual donations and corporate sponsorships – The AHA runs many fundraising campaigns focused on heart disease and stroke, and also partners with major corporations for cause-marketing and sponsorship programs. These are a major source of revenue.
  • Foundations/grants – The AHA gets grants from private foundations, research organizations, and government agencies like the NIH and CDC to fund specific programs and research.
  • Bequests – Individuals sometimes name the AHA in their wills and estates.
  • Events – Revenue raised from various AHA-branded public events like the Heart Walk, Heart Ball, and Go Red for Women campaign.
  • Products – The AHA licenses its name/logo for certain food and other products meeting its health criteria. A portion of the proceeds go to the AHA.
  • Publications – Income generated from subscriptions to its scientific journals and magazine Consumer Reports.
  • Investments – Returns earned on the AHA’s financial assets and investment holdings.

In its 2018-19 fiscal year report, the American Heart Association disclosed over $928 million in total revenue. The majority came from individual contributions and bequests. Other top sources were publications, events, and corporate sponsorships.

What does it mean to be certified by the American Heart Association?

Being certified by the American Heart Association (AHA) means an individual has completed certain training programs and exams demonstrating proficiency in key skills related to cardiovascular health. Some common AHA certifications include:

  • BLS (Basic Life Support): Covers CPR and other lifesaving techniques for assisting in an emergency until professional help arrives. Required re-certification every 2 years.
  • ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support): For healthcare providers managing cardiac arrest, stroke, and other emergencies. Re-certifies every 2 years.
  • Heartsaver First Aid: Focuses on skills like controlling bleeding, treating shock, and responding to heart attacks. Re-certifies every 2 years.
  • CPR/AED (Automated External Defibrillator): Training on performing CPR and using AED devices.
  • Cardiovascular Credentialing: Advanced certifications for doctors, nurses, and other clinicians working in cardiology, stroke, cardiac surgery, etc.
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The certification training is generally provided by AHA-authorized instructors and involves both written exams and skills assessments. Renewing the certifications requires taking refresher courses and demonstrating competency.

Having an AHA certification signals that an individual is up-to-date on the latest science and guidelines around cardiovascular health and emergency response. Many healthcare facilities and providers look for AHA certifications when hiring. The credentials demonstrate credibility and dedication to staying current in the field.

What is the difference between American Heart Association and Red Cross?

The American Heart Association (AHA) and American Red Cross have some similarities but also key differences:


  • Both are large non-profit organizations focused on health, safety, and emergency preparedness.
  • Both offer CPR, first aid, AED, and other training programs and certifications. There is an overlap in some of their courses.
  • Both rely on a network of instructors to provide training nationwide.
  • Both promote cardiovascular health education and do community outreach programs.


  • AHA specializes in cardiovascular health specifically, while Red Cross covers a broader range of health and safety topics.
  • AHA develops clinical guidelines and recommendations for cardiovascular care, while Red Cross does not play a clinical role.
  • AHA focuses research funding on heart disease and stroke, Red Cross does not fund major research.
  • Red Cross is more involved in disaster relief efforts nationally and worldwide.
  • AHA offers scientific publications and journals, Red Cross does not.
  • AHA provides accredited training for clinical professionals, which Red Cross does not.
  • Red Cross handles a larger volume of blood collection and distribution.
  • Red Cross has a wider public brand recognition across its programs.

Which AHA is best for Beginners?

Here are some top American Heart Association (AHA) certifications and courses for beginners to consider:

  • Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED: This is one of the most popular and widely-recognized beginner courses. It covers first aid basics, CPR, and automated external defibrillator (AED) training. Great for schools, offices, and lay responders.
  • BLS Provider: Covers CPR and other critical skills for providing basic life support to adults, children and infants. Recommended for anyone new to medical or rescue fields.
  • HeartCode BLS: A BLS course with an online portion and hands-on skills session. May be more convenient than classroom-only courses.
  • Friends and Family CPR: Short training for the general public on performing CPR and helping in an emergency until professional help arrives.
  • Heartsaver Pediatric First Aid CPR AED: Specific training focused on child CPR and first aid situations. Good for schools, childcare workers, and parents.
  • CPR in Schools Training Kit: Resources tailored for middle and high school teachers to instruct CPR essentials to students.
  • Hands-Only CPR: Free short online training on Hands-Only CPR for adults – useful for quickly learning the basics.

The Benefits of Becoming an AHA Intern

  • Personal Growth: AHA internships are transformative experiences that foster personal growth and self-discovery. Interns often emerge with increased confidence, a clearer career path, and a sense of fulfillment from contributing to a noble cause.
  • Credential Building: Having an AHA internship on one’s resume is a significant credential that demonstrates dedication to cardiovascular health and a commitment to making a positive impact on society.
  • Exposure to Multidisciplinary Expertise: AHA internships expose participants to diverse perspectives and specialties within cardiovascular healthcare. This exposure broadens their understanding of the field and encourages interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Contributing to a Worthy Cause: Perhaps the most fulfilling aspect of being an AHA intern is knowing that one is actively working towards saving lives and improving the cardiovascular health of communities nationwide.
  • Hands-On Learning and Experience: AHA internships provide participants with invaluable hands-on experience in the field of cardiovascular health. Interns have the opportunity to work closely with experienced professionals, engage in real-world projects, and apply the knowledge they have gained through academic studies to practical situations. This experiential learning enhances their understanding of cardiovascular diseases, treatment methods, prevention strategies, and public health initiatives.
  • Skill Development: Interns develop a wide range of skills that are transferable to various healthcare and professional settings. These skills include critical thinking, problem-solving, data analysis, effective communication, leadership, and teamwork. The practical exposure gained during the internship helps in cultivating a well-rounded skill set that is essential for a successful career in healthcare or related fields.
  • Networking Opportunities: Being part of an AHA internship program opens doors to a vast network of professionals, researchers, advocates, and policymakers in the field of cardiovascular health. Building connections with industry leaders and mentors can be instrumental in shaping one’s career path, providing guidance, and even leading to potential job opportunities in the future.
  • Mentorship: Interns often have the chance to work closely with established experts who serve as mentors during their time at the AHA. Mentorship fosters personal growth, and skill development, and helps interns gain insights into the challenges and opportunities in the field. Learning from experienced professionals can be a transformative experience that helps interns gain confidence and clarity about their career goals.
  • Making a Positive Impact: AHA internships offer the chance to make a meaningful contribution to the fight against cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Interns participate in research projects, community outreach programs, and advocacy initiatives that have a direct impact on improving public health. The knowledge that their work is positively influencing the lives of individuals and communities can be incredibly rewarding and motivating.
  • Credential Building: Having an AHA internship on one’s resume is highly regarded in the healthcare and public health sectors. Employers recognize the rigor and commitment associated with these internships, which can enhance an individual’s employability and competitiveness in the job market.
  • Exposure to Multidisciplinary Expertise: The AHA is a multidisciplinary organization that brings together professionals from various fields, including medicine, research, public health, policy, and advocacy. Interns get exposure to this diverse range of expertise, fostering a holistic understanding of cardiovascular health and encouraging collaboration across disciplines.
  • Understanding Healthcare Challenges: Cardiovascular diseases continue to be a leading cause of mortality globally. By participating in AHA internships, individuals gain a deeper understanding of the significant challenges faced in cardiovascular healthcare and the ongoing efforts to address them. This awareness fosters a sense of urgency and commitment to creating a healthier society.
  • Continued Engagement: Many AHA interns remain connected to the organization even after their internship ends. The AHA offers opportunities for continued engagement through alumni networks, volunteer programs, and participation in events. This sustained involvement allows interns to stay updated on advancements in the field and continue making a difference.
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In conclusion, AHA internships provide an unparalleled platform for aspiring healthcare professionals, researchers, and advocates to make a difference in the fight against cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Through hands-on experiences, mentorship, and exposure to cutting-edge research, participants emerge better equipped to address the challenges faced in the field of cardiovascular health. The impact of AHA internships extends beyond individual growth, influencing the broader community through advancements in research, policy advocacy, and community outreach. By nurturing talent and passion, the American Heart Association continues to empower the future of cardiovascular healthcare and move towards a heart-healthy world for all.

Hello, my name is Joseph Samaritan and I am a blogger who writes about various topics of interest, I have a passion for learning and sharing knowledge through my blog, I welcome feedback and comments on my posts and I look forward to engaging with you, thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you enjoy reading it.


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